Scientists Found an Edible Mushroom That Eats Plastic, and It Could Clean Our Landfills

We depend on plastic. It sounds terrible, but that’s the dark truth. Plastic is everywhere – we use it to preserve food, transport water, medicine and pretty much anything we need to survive.

Plastic is a sword with two edges. It helps us do common things, but also poisons planet Earth. Our ocean water is full of plastic, and the water supplies are no longer safe. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped us from using plastic.

We have some good news for you, and it’s time for you to realize that a simple mushroom can solve your problems. In 2012, Yale University students discovered Pestalotiopsis microspora, a rare species of fungus that grows in the Amazon rain forest. The mushroom can thrive on plastic alone (polyurethane), turning plastic into organic matter.

The mushroom destroys plastic and is able to survive without oxygen. In other words, the Pestalotiopsis microspora can clean our planet.

It’s an incredible idea, and scientists will try to develop it even further. Instead of piling up trash, we should have mushroom-centered community-composting centers. Maybe we should even have our own mini mushroom composting kits.

The Pestalotiopsis microspora isn’t the only mushroom that may help us. Some of it’s kin are safe for consumption. Katharina Unger from Utrecht University conducted a study in the Netherlands.

For the needs of the study, they placed oyster mushrooms and other varieties in agar cups with plastic waste. The mushrooms were kept in a climate controlled dome-shaped environment. Within a month, the roots had turned the plastic into an edible biomass food substance that’s free from polyurethane.

There was no plastic, and Unger said it had a nice sweet taste and a smell of anise or licorice. This is an incredible discovery. Believe it or not, mushrooms can turn toxic plastic into food.

Unger explained that the digestion process will happen a lot quicker once the processes if fixed to perfection. Her team believes that the discovery will be used in communities.

The research reached incredible heights. There are also “mushroom bricks.” These pieces were on full display at the State of the World’s Fungi 2018 event in Kew Gardens, London. Can you imagine building a home from natural material?

Getting rid of plastic is of utmost importance. We can’t live flooded with toxic plastic, and this mushroom may be the solution we’ve been looking for. According to scientists, the natural rate of decomposition will be reduced from 400 years to a few months.

We have to learn how to manage and eliminate plastic. Modern technology may take the wrong turn, and plastic may kill our dreams of living a healthy life.