Sealed Air reopening Iowa plant to make fungi-based packaging

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: November 12, 2013 3:25 pm ET
Updated: November 12, 2013 6:33 pm ET

Image By: Ecovative Design LLC Ecovative Design makes plastic from fungal mycelia.

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability Packaging
Companies & Associations

Sealed Air Corp. plans to begin production by the end of the year of novel packaging made using fungal threads.

The packaging is made by inoculating agricultural waste like oat hulls with fungal mycelia. The mycelia grow extensively to form an intricate, interwoven network as they feed on the substrate. The composite is then heated to kill the mycelia and fuse the mass into a rigid, plastic-like substance.

Sealed Air is converting a facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to make its mycelial composite named Restore Mushroom Packaging. It will use technology developed by Ecovative Design LLC of Green Island, N.Y. Sealed Air announced last year that it became Ecovative's exclusive licensee for protective packaging in North America.

"Cedar Rapids previously manufactured flexible film for Sealed Air's Cryovac division," Sealed Air spokesman Ken Aurichio said in a phone interview. The plant was shut in 2008 and was idle until Sealed Air began revamping it in summer to make the new packaging.

"Ecovative has had a great deal of success using the unique properties of mycelium for protective packaging," stated Ryan Flanagan, president of Sealed Air's protective packaging business. He said the new technology fits Sealed Air's SmartLife program to reduce waste throughout its supply chain and help customers in their sustainability goals.

In May 2013, Sealed Air and Ecovative announced an expansion of their relationship to include production of the new packaging in Europe. Aurichio said it was too early to say where a manufacturing plant will be located. Sealed Air has been supplying Europe from product made by Ecovative. The partners are actively seeking strategic partners.

Ecovative calls its product Mushroom Packaging. It says the packaging can replace expanded plastics such as polystyrene, polypropylene and polyethylene. Properties can be tailored by varying the organic substrate and type of fungus to grow in it. Target markets include protective packaging, automotive components, construction materials, shoes and floral foam.

Ecovative has received $14 million in financing to expand its operations and for product development. The funds come from 3M Co. and the Doen Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Amsterdam to promote sustainable innovation. Ecovative was founded in 2007. The private company has received numerous awards for its invention.

"Ecovative has taken a disruptive concept for growing cost-effective biomaterials," "Ecovative CEO Eben Bayer said in a Nov. 5 news release.

Sealed Air, based in Elmwood Park, N.Y., is a major producer of packaging and hygiene and cleaning products.


Comments

Sealed Air reopening Iowa plant to make fungi-based packaging

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: November 12, 2013 3:25 pm ET
Updated: November 12, 2013 6:33 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

PolyOne launches Geon BIO PVC using soy-based materials

April 24, 2015 11:48 am ET

More than a decade of research is paying off for Battelle Memorial Institute in the form of Geon BIO PVC compounds from PolyOne Corp.    More

Image

California may require more recycled content in bottles

April 24, 2015 11:16 am ET

California lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that would bump up the required recycled content in plastic bottles for beverage companies to...    More

Image

KHS cuts packaging with direct printing on PET bottles, adhesive multi-packs

April 23, 2015 1:39 pm ET

KHS GmbH has been pouring a lot of time into solving issues related to direct printing on PET bottles, and after eight years of work, everyone...    More

Image

DuPont center in India gets LEED Certification

April 23, 2015 1:07 pm ET

DuPont Co.'s Knowledge Center in Hyderabad, India, was awarded LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.    More

Image

MeadWestvaco joins the Recycling Partnership

April 23, 2015 11:19 am ET

MeadWestvaco Corp., a global packaging company with some operations in plastics, is joining the Recycling Partnership.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events