27 Sept. 2023 look for EXCITING NEWS!!!
It is already a Business! And Growing!
We are talking about:
mycelium-composite material packaging
MycoComposite packaging inserts
Mycelium Packaging is all about the “inserts” that are put inside a box to protect a product during shipment. That is what this is all about.
It is called: PLANET POSITIVE PACKAGING
In this post:
- So, Where are the Innovators today…what is going on?
- The Netherlands – EU Customers are calling them!
- Malaysia – From growing Mushrooms to protective packaging inserts
- India – Sprouted from a Bio-Incubator
- Israel – Starting from the beginning in 2023
- New Zealand – Australia – Almost ready!
- DID you, once, contact Ecovative and get a depressing response?
- Is there really a patent problem?
- !! EXCITING NEWS!!! ECOVATIVE is opening doors to a major European patent,…
- Marketing suggestions, if you want to start-up this business in your region.
- All of my posts on Mycelium in Industry
This is a relatively new industry. It has only been around for 15+ years. It is an important solution not only for our environment, but it adds to the re-use and value of WASTE. A Win! Win!
So, Where are the Innovators https://www.ecovative.com/ today…what is going on?
Ms. Mushroom Meghan said in her TEDx talk: “In 2021 over 2 million pieces of packaging made from mushrooms were produced globally. All of the mushroom packaging, once having served their purpose protecting fragile things from breaking, were turned into nutrient dense compost. ”
Meghan’s talk is full of phrases that confirm the importance of Mushroom / Mycelium Packaging and make great marketing tools, such as: “Packaging should never last longer than its product” [or….. it takes your order to get to you.] or “I want to see people energized by the solutions that exist, not paralyzed by the pollution.“
Ecovative: Q2-2023 In Review – hot off the press
The secret’s out about Mushroom Packaging, and companies are lining up to get truly planet-friendly protection for their products. A recently commissioned 20,000 square foot facility is helping keep up with demand and new customers and partnerships, including with Good Chemistry for products available in select Target stores and online. Helping get the word out are big name celebrities, including Emma Watson, who gushed over the Mushroom Packaging parts grown by the Magical Mushroom Company to protect the Watson family’s new line of premium gin.
…..and around the world?
The Netherlands – EU Customers are calling them!
One of the first to license with Ecovative.
Jan Berbee, has long experience in the packaging industry. He met Gavin McIntyre from Ecovative in 2016 and went to their USA facility to learn all about this business and set up a license. He has moved into larger spaces to fit his growing business several times. His website https://www.grown.bio/ can tell you all you want to know about what he’s been doing.
They are going to focus much more on the packaging.
After years of taking on all sorts of interesting projects, NOW Small and Medium size companies have started to contact Grown.bio.
90% of businesses in the world are Small and Medium size.
That is 90% of 334 million businesses in the world today. There was an estimate of approximately 23.1 million (SMEs) in the European Union in 2022.
These SMEs are calling www.Grown.bio and one of the reasons is: The small businesses can not afford plastic styrofoam inserts because the upfront mold costs of the plastics is too expensive. Sure they can use the bubbles etc., but they’re not as protective for a product and do not decompose in your garden after your purchase arrives at your door!
The Price issue is still the biggest one that Jan is dealing with.
In the early days, mycelium products were still many times more expensive then Styrofoam. Think of 10 to 20 times the price. But meanwhile, Grown.bio has seen their average cost decreasing strongly and already find themselves in a position where they are closing deals sometimes even at the same level as Styrofoam.
Grown.bio is full speed ahead!
Malaysia – From growing Mushrooms to protective packaging inserts
Mr Boey Tze Zhou has been growing mushrooms since 2008.
He has grown Oyster mushrooms on a variety of substrates. He grows Grey and White Oyster mushroom, Lion’s Mane, and Wood-ear seasonally. As a mushroom grower, Boey has a cash flow, earns a steady living and has moved his operation to ever larger spaces, now located in Juru, Penang, Malaysia. Boey has a business partner and shareholder in his Fungitech company who is guiding his progress; a long time business owner of a number of companies, still doing business at 79 years of age.
So, now they have decided to expand to MycoComposite packaging inserts.
Apparently, Boey has thought about getting into this business for some time. Finally 2 years ago, he and his partner found a good formula for the basic myco-composite material for his region of the world. MycoPack
The formula is rather interesting:
They take spent substrate from their Oyster mushroom operation – made up of Wood-Sawdust & Wheat Bran and sterilize it. They then inoculate the “sterilized spent substrate” with a strain of Reishi mushroom. This produces the myco-composite material for the protective packaging. Finding their formula was probably the hardest experience for Boey so far. It took him years to figure it out. He continues to improve on it.
Boey already has 8+ customers.
Much like existing myco-packaging companies, his customers are small and medium size (SMEs) that are selling Essential Oils, Organic Shampoo, and Scented Candles. He is producing about 3-4000 pcs per month for customers that individually order between 500-1000 pc per month.
He is working with a furniture company.
They are testing his inserts to meet their load requirements. Furniture is a big industry in Malaysia. Another one is the Semiconductor industry and he has started talks with these companies to supply them in the future.
He has come to the time to expand and automate.
He is looking for investors to do so. This phase will change his supply and demand issues and with bigger volume his prices will get lower.
A“ “local regional business” in each region of the world!
The Circular Economy philosophy is that Bio-material, like myco-packaging or mushroom growing, is a “regional business“. One big company is NOT going to supply the whole world. Myco-packaging producers are going to supply the companies in their particular region for each company’s shipping needs to anywhere.
Why choosing MycoPack?
MycoPack is made from mycelium biomaterial with 100% our mushroom farm waste.
Our mushroom packaging is:
- 100% organic and chemical-free
- 100% biodegradable and compostable
- 100% from farm waste
- Cost effective
- Lower carbon footprint
- Caters to companies with small volume
Full Speed ahead – MycoPack!
India has been waiting a long time for a mycelium packaging supplier. Since the first time I talked about mycelium packaging in 2018, I have been getting requests for information about such a supplier. All through the pandemic! Some have tried. Finally we have one!
India – Sprouted from a Bio-Incubator
Cofounder of Roha Biotech:
Mr. Aditya Srinivas Kandaala
Apparently Mr. Srinivas and his team have been producing and selling since the summer of 2022.
They have investors in this new business. They are are supported by an India biotechnology ignition grant. Mr. Srinivas and his team have a large space to work in. Roha.bio are set up to produce prototypes made for potential customers. If the prototypes fit the customer’s needs, they contract to buy from Roha.bio.
Roha.bio uses more than one formula for their protective packaging inserts. Depending upon the need for rigidity, sponginess, etc., they can satisfy various customer’s needs. Roha uses a number of agricultural waste/byproducts for their substrates including Coconut, Jute, Cotton, and Rice.
Roha.bio has been selling packaging for 6+ months already. As of January 2023 it was approximately 500 pcs per month, about 2-300 pcs, per customer. They started with 3 customers shipping candles, chocolate and a designer (who uses Roha.bio for his clients’ packaging insert needs). Their total production capacity has already reached 20,000 pieces. They are already selling above 5,000 pcs per month. Their customers now are a company shipping chocolates with 1,500 pcs/m; a personal care products company with 2500 pcs/m; and a cosmetics company at 1000 pcs/m. Roha is in talks with 10 more companies. Expansion is on the horizon.
At Roha we develop Mycelium bio-composite based protective packaging that can replace Styrofoam using agricultural residue and mushroom mycelium, we do this by collaborating with farmers and self-help groups in the villages, boosting their income.
On other hand we collaborate with startups and brands in consumer electronics space , design and develop protective packaging for their needs. Roha.bio Chennai, India, Founded 2019
What a forward thinking and excellent approach to their business!
After I heard, from Ecovative in 2019, that someone had contacted them to license and start-up mycelium packaging in Israel, I hunted the people down. It seems the pandemic got in their way and they dropped the idea.
There is a new person working on this business in Israel, Today…….
Israel – Starting from the beginning in 2023
Mr. Shahar Smuliansky.
When I was talking to Grown.bio, Jan told me that he had contact with a guy from Israel named Shahar Smuliansky. From Grown.bio, Shahar has also run into an experienced and recently retired businessman from Palziv plastics packaging. He also wants to work on this project: Mr. Meir Langer, from the Jordan River Valley.
One of the first things Shahar and Meir are working on is to find a mycologist to work with. They are starting their first formula experiments in a newly operating pilot facility in Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin by the Jordan river border.
Shahar is working with the waste from Date Palm agriculture as his substrate. The Jordan River valley is full of Date Palms and the Waste from both Israel and Jordan growers needs to be collected and processed.
The Date Palm waste is mostly not processed, at this point in time. It is often thrown aside in huge piles that just sit there for years and sometimes get burned. Shahar and Meir plan to treat this uncollected waste and turn it into valuable material. They have met some contractors that shred the palm tree stuff and they will, probably, buy first from them, half way shredded and chop it ‘in-house’ into 1 cm chips.
I say it again, I believe these mycelium packaging businesses should be regional. Myco-packaging startups develop a formula using the agricultural by-products they find in their own backyard. Bio-materials should be propagated at local / regional scale.
Shahar has contracted with a Business Incubator Innovalley in the Jordan River Valley to develop his business.
They already have some potential customers that want to replace their present packaging and start with some pilot orders in Mycelium. There are possible plans to make up some wine bottle units to show to Israeli Wine makers. And when they get to it, they plan to have “ready made” multi-purpose packaging inserts & boxes in their catalog.
I wish them patience and persistence and SUCC ESS !!!!!!!!!!
New Zealand – Australia – Almost ready!
When James Ferrier from BioFab, a gentleman with a long history in the packaging business, went to a lecture about mycelium, he became completely convinced that the protective packaging inserts for shipping would be better by far for our world, if they were replaced by inserts made from mycelium composite material.
James started from scratch in 2018. He contacted Ecovative and set up a license with them, found mycologists and they developed a workable formula for the myco-composite material for their region of the world – first thing. With a small facility, about the size of 2-20 foot containers, they began their next stage; looking for the funds to open up a complete factory for the production of their packaging.
They are still working to raise the last of the funds to build their facility – Target this summer. They have already signed up over 160 potential customers with sales agreements (called “non-standardized PUT OPTION” (right to sell and obligation to buy) OR a “non-standardized CALL OPTION” (right to buy and obligation to sell). In other words; they can tell potential investors that they already have over 160 customers ready to order their protective packaging inserts from BioFab NZ. This is one way to do it!
We talked about what kind of products are going to be the easiest to sell in the beginning? James points out that: Myco-packaging can produce custom packaging at much more affordable cost for small volume. This is a good fit for a company with a limited number of shipments per year. With a yearly need of 50,000 units for custom packaging from molds, they would find the unit price far less expensive – without the up-front mold producing issue for plastics.
So go for the medium and small businesses guys. That’s the place to start!
Looking Forward to hear the Announcement that they are building!
DID you, once, contact Ecovative
and get a depressing response?
Life is not simple.
There are some people around the world trying to start a business in myco-composite packaging that are very disappointed in their initial contact with Ecovative.com. They called and received rather depressing responses like: “a license with us will cost $1 Million.” This must have been Ecovative’s way to cut off the volume of contacts they received from people who don’t know anything about this new business. Never even eaten a mushroom…..
James from BioFab says that once he got connected to Ecovative, it was clear that everything was not going to be handed to him on a platter. He had to do his own homework to get his business off the ground . He found himself an exotic mushroom grower in New Zealand who wanted to partner in this new enterprise and as soon as they had a formula, the connection with Ecovative became very strong, as trust was established that his company BioFab could actually produce something within Ecovative’s expectations.
Mushroom® Packaging is a specific application of Ecovative’s MycoComposite™ technology. It is Ecovative’s tradename for high-quality home-compostable packaging materials that utilize mycelium as a self-assembling biological binder for agricultural byproducts. All Ecovative licensees who sell packaging products under the Mushroom® Packaging tradename are held to strict quality standards certified by Ecovative.
What does this tell you?
If you made that contact with Ecovative “out of the blue sky” with no prior activity…and got a “Do not pester me” answer, it was because you had nothing concrete to tell Ecovative.
Planet Earth would tell you that Ecovative’s knowhow took them 17+ years of experience to get where they are today. They learned a couple of things:
The myco-composite material formula is different in every region.
You will be relying on the substrate material/agricultural waste available in your own backyard. And you need to find a big supply of it for your production – and mass production.
So what are you going to use for the substrate? Ecovative uses Hemp Hurd. So does BioFab, but their Hemp Hurd is from New Zealand. IT IS NOT THE SAME THING! In Malaysia they use saw dust. In Israel they are trying Date Palm waste. Someone in Japan uses sterile cocoa beans. Another uses forestry byproducts; mixing hardwood and softwood. And yet another used pasteurized straw.
Our current raw material supply chain has volume limitations, currently only supports select commercial partners in North America and Europe. It will be your responsibility to develop a raw material supply chain in your region.
Then you need a mushroom strain
….that is compatible with the agricultural byproduct you have found. You might try the list of mushroom strains on Ecovative’s patent, BUT, you will be far better off to find someone who knows enough about mushrooms in your region to help you for the long run; probably a mycologist or a well experienced mushroom grower.
Once you have something REAL “a working formula” to tell Ecovative about, they just might be willing to talk to you! But they will ask you questions about the formula before they are ready. Besides the formula, you might be able to include your own experience:
- Do you Grow mushrooms?
- Do you have years of experience in the packaging industry?
- Are you a mycologist?
- Are you connected to a startup incubator?
- Are you a product designer with software experience in designing packaging?
- Have you recently graduated with a degree in business management?
- Have you years of experience in mass production?
Mushroom® Packaging and MycoComposite Opportunities (from Ecovative’s Packaging website)
Thank you for your interest in Ecovative’s MycoComposite™ technology. Our team is heavily focused on identifying and supporting Mushroom® Packaging and/ or MycoComposite™ partners across the world to expand our distribution reach. We are looking for experienced, high quality partners with a proven track record of successful entrepreneurship or commercial business success and a drive to improve our ecosystem.
As of now, we are offering access to our IP through our Super Grow-It-Yourself (‘Super GIY’) program. This program is intended for entrepreneurs who want to get started to build a business case to present to Mushroom® Packaging. Before you decide to apply by filling out the application, please carefully review the limitations and requirements of the Super GIY program as detailed below.
Please note that the Mushroom® Packaging team is not providing direct support to businesses at this time. Our Super GIY program is intended to allow you to develop your thesis, explore applications and markets of interest, and eventually present a business case for Mushroom® Packaging to consider.
And in the end, what does Ecovative want from a partnership?
What does Ecovative Get? It appears from what I have been able to find out, that the kind of license Ecovative is interested in sets up a Royalties Percentage from the Sales of the products you sell. It does not appear that it is an unreasonable percentage.
If you got turned off by Ecovative, consider the facts. And then consider again what YOU want to do.
- Ecovative wants to protect the integrity of the mycelium-composite packaging insert business across the globe.
- They are the ones who spent the last 17+ years inventing this business.
- They want to get some benefits, but not necessarily take YOU for all they can get.
- Their niche seems to be as the innovator, not the industry operation. You license with them and they are going to make sure that you are doing it the right way, to get up to scale. Please! do it right or don’t do it!
Is there really a patent problem?
What Ecovative is probably doing, right now, is trying to get that last little bit from their original myco-composite material patent (from 2007) by pressing the issue to co-ordinate/license with more companies. It seems like
Ecovative is concerned about the quality of the mycelium packaging that people are putting on the market. Licensing with Ecovative ensures them that what is being produced is of the highest quality and really does what a company says it does.
A friend of mine gave me some insight into the patent issue. You can find Ecovative’s patents on https://patents.google.com/?assignee=ecovative&oq=ecovative Google’s Patents website.
I can not tell you if this is the one that Ecovative is talking about these days, but it could be: US20220396052A9
This patent will expire in 2027 or a year or 2 later. It is not a Granted Patent. It is an Application for a patent. There is an “A” in the number above.
What you need to do is consider all the initials that you find in the file. Click on the initials for your country (if they appear) and see if a patent has been granted.
Instead of the letter A, you want to look for a “B”. “B” in the patent number, means that a patent has been granted. You can not take what I have put here as the last word if there is an Ecovative granted Patent in your country, yes or no, but it is a place to start. If there is no patent listed here, I still recommend that you find professional patent help to be sure about this.
The point is, that unless Ecovative does something else, their present patent will expire in 4 or so years, but it depends upon which patent and what country. So depending upon what you have decided to do and where you are in the world, things may be open and easy rather soon. But considering what Ecovative has done for us humans and planet Earth, it could very well be worth your while to contact them.
We are opening doors to a major European patent,
……..allowing individuals and businesses to harness the power of our MycoComposite™ mycelium materials for their innovative ventures in Europe. The European Open Patent Program for MycoComposite™ is an invitation to revolutionize plastic-free products. Already making waves globally, from protective compostable packaging construction materials and even mycelium coffins by Loop Biotech, the opportunities are boundless.
Read more about it here.
Marketing suggestions, if you want to start-up this business in your region.
>>>Have a page of “Ready Made” items on your website:
“Ready Made” may be the start of your biggest customers…. first ready made and then custom packaging…… Probably the way Grown.bio built up their business and “word of mouth” is beginning to work for them.
>>>Sustainability Advantages – Maybe you will find useful words here for your marketing:
- 100% Biodegradable Material
- “Up-cycling” – Waste Becomes Raw Material The materials used in mushroom packaging come entirely from nature and return entirely to nature at the end of their useful life. Mushroom® Packaging is a gold certified Cradle to Cradle product.
- Compostable It decomposes within 30 to 90 days. The natural materials in mushroom packaging will actually add nutrients to the soil.
- Low Energy Consumption Using mushrooms inherent growth power, packaging can be produced with minimal energy use.
- Custom-Molded The great thing about mushroom packaging is that it can be grown into virtually any shape or form geared towards your product’s exact specifications.
- Makes a Positive Impact Mushroom packaging isn’t just good for our planet, it’s high performing, cost competitive and will leave a great first impression on your customers.
Compostable Packaging Materials Made From Mushrooms 2009
Biological Model – Ask Nature
Mushroom Packaging is an example of both bioutilization and systems-level biomimicry. Using biological materials in an innovative way has enabled Ecovative to create a system that mimics material cycling in nature, where natural “waste” material is transformed into a useful product that is fully biodegradable at the end of its life.
Costs of Myco packaging versus Plastics
>> Fossil Fuel Cost: Where, for example, the energy for the production of a cubic meter of polystyrene consumes / uses the equivalent of 1.5 liters of oil, MycoComposite material requires very little energy.
>>Years of Pollution Cost: Tons of polystyrene clog landfills and pollute the oceans taking hundreds of years to degrade, but Myco Foam returns to earth in the form of a nutrient once it has completed its use life cycle.
>>>The Pros – there are lots of them. Here are a couple……………….
Recycle and Compost Your Packaging Since 2011
Nobody wants to be left with a lot of packaging waste. Still, you want your new product to arrive safely. At Dell, we’re committed to developing innovative solutions to solve these packaging challenges. Many of our packaging materials are recyclable or compostable or both
Gourmet protein Bars
Our compostable packaging for our protein bars and plant based snacks is grown, not manufactured. We offer a unique, sustainable packaging technology that offers superior protection, is fully home-compostable, and is grown in just 6 days using the roots of mushrooms (mycelium) as a natural glue.
All of my posts on Mycelium in Industry
Additional posts, about Mycelium in Industry:
….all of which starts here:
Mycelium in Industry – Ancient and New
Mycelium R&D Projects
Mycelium in Fashion Marketing – One Approach
May 2019 Mycelium in Industry update: Construction, Packaging, Textile, Furniture, +
June 2019 Mycelium Composites? Hands-on – Do it yourself
October 2019 Mycotecture? more-Mycelium in Construction
March 2020 “Mycelium in Industry” Where else can you get information?
March 2020 Mycelium in Construction?…some tangible progress
October 2020 Mycelium Is IN Textile/Fashion – 2020
December 2020 MycoProteins – Mushrooms To Meat?
February 2021 Construction, Mycelium, Industry..Wait A Minute
September 2021 Mycelium Momentum; World Is Waking Up.
January 2022 Myco-Remediation – Decompose And Remedy
July 2023 Mycelium Packaging – How To Make It A Business In 2023
Suppliers of Mycelium Composite Material, around the world:
>Mr. Russell Whittam, www.aussimushroomsupplies.com.au,
I’ve done lots of work with universities the last few years; supplying them with substrate and how to make their own materiel, etc. as well.
I’ve got a new product coming out about mid-2020 – for making things – just add water, spawn and mold the material. Then let it grow. Contact him at: [email protected]
>>>>Egypt: mycelium material This start-up team has patented their own myco-composite material using mushroom strains found in Egypt. They have started to sell bowls, pots and to offer Mycelium packaging. We offer different products in construction such as insulation panels and open to supplying packaging as protective packaging for those seeking eco-friendly alternatives. We are also open to other creative projects using mycelium material. Visit our website: https://mycellium.co/
>Grown.bio – has a license agreement with Ecovative Design.
their new MycoComposite™ kits consist of only LIVING mushroom material and are supplied to the EU countries. Possible also for geographical Europe, but customs clearances must be taken care of by the person making the order.
Grown.bio is now supplying the Mycelium Composite ™ material to insulate buildings. They have insulated class rooms in an Amsterdam school building and in a house in a village near Rotterdam. Scroll down to Building & Architecture products here. They have supplied the MycoComposite™ to many of the projects taking place in Europe, recently, that have been mentioned in my posts. Grown.bio sells other things made from MycoComposite™.
Finally! >Roha.bio At Roha we develop Mycelium bio-composite based protective packaging that can replace Styrofoam using agricultural residue and mushroom mycelium, we do this by collaborating with farmers and self-help groups in the villages, boosting their income.
On other hand we collaborate with startups and brands in consumer electronics space , design and develop protective packaging for their needs. Roha.bio
>MYCL, Mycotech Lab has an internship program. It makes a lot of sense to get some controlled experience with mycelium. MYCOTECH Lab produces and sells, mycelium board composite panels BIOBO, and supplied the labor and material for the MycoTree project.
>Fungitech Mushroom farm waste is always a big problem for mushroom growers all around the world. In our site, we fully utilise this farm waste to make 100% chemical-free and biodegradable mycelium biomaterial. Currently, we mainly supply this green biomaterial for packaging purpose. This patent pending innovative technology is able to solve mushroom farm waste problem and provide a greener life style to our mother Earth.
>>>>The Netherlands – for Large orders in the EU Mycelium Materials Europe (in short
MME) started in 2018. We grow sustainable mycelium materials based on mushroom technology. We produce two types of organic materials in our own mushroom farm: MyFoam® (pure mycelium foam) and HedelComposite Hedelcomposite is composed of sterilized residual sawdust and inoculated with mycelium. Ready to use. Grow your own biodegradable mycelium objects with Hedelcomposite in just one week! Maximum of 10 bags (300L) per order.
> Bio Fab NZ a new company that Ecovative has licensed in New Zealand. “Lesley, We currently work within Australasia so can only ship within New Zealand and Australia. We are looking at having a large scale plant open early to mid 2021 and aim to set up one in Australia soon after. We are planning on selling Grow-it-yourself kits, but not until our plant is up and running.” says James from [email protected]
> The Magical Mushroom Company a new company/website in the UK. (Ecovative License)..The Magical Mushroom Company is the UK’s first-ever production plant manufacturing mycelium-based packaging. Founded by three friends wanting to make a difference.
>Grow-It-Yourself Kits for MycoComposite™ are now available direct from Ecovative’s Grow.bio. Here you will find all instructions, learning, and purchasing information. Grow.bio, however, only ships the MycoComposite™ material within North America.
>Ecovative LLC has transferred all their Mushroom Packaging production equipment to a facility 4x bigger at Paradise Packaging Co which is now handled under the general website: https://mushroompackaging.com. The new company and new website offer you more information about the mushroom packaging material and how it works.
>>>more places around planet Earth?
>If you are interested in building a business in MycoComposite technology, Ecovative is now handling partnership discussions from here: https://mushroompackaging.com/pages/licensing-form Licensing with Ecovative allows the partner to explore alternate substrates, techniques, and products.
>For other issues Contact Ecovative Here