Plastic takes a really, really long time to break down on its own. And, according to the New York Times , about 300 million tons of it are produced globally each year, with only about 10 percent being recycled. That means that the buildup of plastics in our landfills and oceans is higher than ever, and while reducing the amount of plastic we produce as a society is critical, we must also deal with the issue of what to do with the “ islands ” and “ mountains ” of plastic that have already accumulated on our planet. When we think about the 100 million people starving worldwide today, a potential solution for both crises starts to look especially appealing. What if we could neutralize the toxicity of plastic, and transform it into something that is not only non-toxic, but also edible, nutritious, and tasty? Turns out, we can, with a little help from our mycological friends. Scientific interest in the idea of a plastic-eating mushroom began at Yale University in 2012, where a group of students discovered that a rare mushroom from the Amazon, Pestalotiopsis microspora , was capable of subsisting off of polyurethane alone. (Polyurethane is the […]

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