mushroom technology to replace plastic foam packaging

Ecovative Design is transforming the typical packing, creating an eco-friendly alternative to Styrofoam made from mushrooms. Their goal: to create a viable, eco-friendly alternative to the plastics industry and particularly to polystyrene, the versatile synthetic polymer best known for Styrofoam cups and packing peanuts.
Mushroom® Packaging – a compostable packaging alternative made of agricultural waste and mycelium, a fungal network of threadlike cells that is like the “roots” of mushrooms. The mycelium digests the agricultural byproducts, binding them like a natural, non-toxic glue into a structural material. This is being used to create next generation biocomposite materials, replacing plastic foams and dense materials like particle board.
Beyond packing alternatives, Ecovative Design is constantly developing new uses for the product and could eventually replace plastics in a variety of industries and applications. In fact, GOOD reports Ecovative will be working with its strategic partner, Sealed Air, to build a second factory in the U.S. and continuing to improve its sustainable material’s performance and price.

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Tom Foerstel : Founder & President

Tom Foerstel

Founder & President

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60’s, Tom developed a strong desire to create positive change for people and planet.


He went on to pursue his passion for art and design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and worked for design firms in Southern California before moving to Boise, Idaho in the early 80’s. Foerstel Design opened its doors in 1985. Since its inception, the firm has cultivated a bold, happy, forward-looking team focussed on creating distinct and effective work on behalf of their clients.


An integral part of Tom’s philosophy is giving back to the community in which he lives — a company cornerstone that drives Foerstel’s long history of providing pro-bono services to local non-profit humanitarian and arts programs.


One of Tom’s proudest personal achievements is his ability to say Supercalifragilisticexpyalidocious backwards.