Lego set to replace its plastic bricks with ones made from sustainable materials by end of the decade — Life & Soul Magazine

Lego has announced it will invest $400 million over the next three years to step up efforts to produce its colourful bricks using sustainable materials instead of oil-based plastic. The investment will help Lego to reach a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2022 in terms of its production, as well as phase out single-use […]

Lego set to replace its plastic bricks with ones made from sustainable materials by end of the decade — Life & Soul Magazine

Designer Maurizio Montalti develops mycelium-based material and products as a solution to plastic problem

Italian designer Maurizio Montalti poses for a picture in front of everyday objects he created, a chair, vases and even slippers, based on mycelium, the white and film-forming part of mushrooms, at the Micropia Museum displaying the invisible world of micro-organisms in Amsterdam on May 2, 2017. What is nicer after a long day than sinking your feet into comfortable slippers? But one Italian designer is hoping to show that shoes made from mushrooms can be just as cosy. / AFP PHOTO / Sophie MIGNON

Amsterdam-based designer Maurizio Montalti – who has created pieces of furniture from a fungus-based material – is proving that mycelium can be used to replace plastic and other materials that are tough to recycle.

By combining mycelium, the “root structure of fungus”, with agricultural waste such as wheat, rapeseed and flax, Maurizio Montalti has created a new material, which he has used in the design of chairs, lampshades, waterproof vases, and slippers.

The designer – whose studio Officina Corpuscoli houses a lab where scientists work alongside designers to grow new materials from living microbes – believes that products made from mycelium-based materials are a solution to the plastic problem.

Maurizio Montalti cites his main source of inspiration as “the fascination for the micro-scale, together with a holistic vision of the world as a macro-organism animated by symbiotic relationships”.

The Italian designer and his team at the Officina Corpuscoli lab have been researching mycelium-based materials for nearly a decade.

In 2015 the studio embarked upon an industrial venture, aiming to standardise and scale-up mycelium technology and the subsequent range of naturally grown products. Alongside industrial partners, Maurizio Montalti founded technology platform and company, MOGU.

MOGU is the first company to offer commercial mycelium-based products on the market, suitable for interior design applications and as an alternative to traditional synthetic materials, such as petroleum-based plastics.

MOGU say: “Today, our relationship with the ecosystem is more than ever compromised, due to human activity and particularly to the irresponsible manufacturing processes we constantly run.

“At MOGU, we thrive to employ only residues as raw input materials, setting new value for unexploited resources through the skillful action of fungal mycelium.”

Image Credit: Sophie Mignon/AFP

Officina Corpuscoli and MOGU

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com