Embodying the Bucky maxim: “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
LOCATION: New York, USA
SUMMARY: Ecovative has disrupted the materials industry with an innovative and cost-competitive natural alternative to petrochemical based plastics and other hazardous materials widely used daily across the world.
PROBLEM SPACE: Plastic foams are made from finite and often-harmful petrochemicals, don’t biodegrade, and contribute to growing waste in landfills and our environment. As more cities recognize the hazards of many traditional materials, there is a gap on the supply side for alternatives to foam packaging, insulation, and other synthetics. Current regulatory systems ignore the long-term implications of exposure to toxicity, unpredictable waste streams, environmental degradation and natural resource depletion that these materials cause, and while life-cycle and ecosystem services analyses are gaining traction, for the most part, the negative impact of these products is not given the attention it deserves. Alternatives need to be not only environmentally friendly, but high-performing and cost-competitive as well.
SOLUTION: Ecovative’s biomaterial platform technology resolves critical concerns for waste, energy, and consumer health by working with nature to grow an alternative. Ecovative fills a gap on the supply side for alternatives to foam packaging, insulation, and other synthetics. Their biomaterial platform technology resolves critical concerns for waste, energy, and consumer health by working with nature to grow an alternative. The innovative materials science company uses local agricultural waste as feedstock to grow fungal mycelia that can be formed into a host of byproducts, from packaging materials to building insulation and car components.