• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Plastic Eating Mushrooms

In Blog
Oct 31st, 2023

How amazing is this — scientists have discovered mushrooms that can devour plastic waste in a matter of weeks…plastic that would otherwise remain in the ocean forever.

Right now 91% of the plastics we use can’t be recycled, and every minute another truckload is dumped into the ocean, suffocating sea life and spreading pollutants across shores.

Scientists say these magnificent mushrooms could eat up to half of the plastic waste being dumped in the ocean! They’re asking for our help and we could give them enough funds to start right away on expanding their research from the US to New Zealand.

NASA scientist Dr Cullings recently retired to join an innovative nonprofit team in their work to isolate and reproduce organic plastic-eaters for industrial use. They are ready to go. If 7000 of us donate the cost of a coffee, they’ll have enough to buy the lab and field equipment they need for their research — and together we can help rid the planet of plastic waste.

Fungi, like mushrooms and yeast, are nature’s cleanup crew. The enzymes they produce can break down pollutants and clean up everything from oil spills to toxic pesticides.

Nearly all the plastic ever created still exists in some form today. So scientists are researching how to use these crafty microbes to try and break down all types of plastics and also ways to make them possible to recycle and reuse — and so far it’s working.

We could actually start to make a dent in the world’s plastic waste!

But we need more research to do this on a big enough scale, and we need to move fast. Plastic production is increasing rapidly. Plastic entering the ocean is on track to nearly triple by 2040 if left unchecked.

Ocean Blue Project and Dr Cullings have been at the forefront of using fungi to clean up environmental disasters. They have big ambitions in the war on plastic waste, but lab equipment, field materials, and research time are expensive — and they rely on donations to do this work.
This pioneering research could be one of the bold solutions we’ve all been waiting for.

Can you be one of the 7000 donors to support this crucial research?

Industrial-scale use of plastic-eaters is already being trialled in France and Australia. It’s not often we can contribute to work that could make a real dent in the world’s plastic pollution.

With your help we could advance this research, but we know there is so much more to do if we want to solve the plastics crisis. That’s why any extra raised will go to support our campaigning, including campaigns to reduce plastic production, which is the #1 way to curb plastic pollution, and pressure governments to pass laws that support lasting solutions to address plastic pollution.


Thank you,
Yasmin and the team at Ekō

More information:

Fungi that break down hardwood trees can do the same with plastic, study shows. Phys.org, 14 April 2023

Plastic-eating backyard fungi discovery boosts hopes for a solution to the recycling crisis. ABC, 14 April 2023

Oyster mushrooms expected to break down toxins and microplastics in cigarette butts in Australian trial. The Guardian, 15 March 2023

The Untapped Potential of the Amazon’s Plastic-Eating Mushroom. Earth.org, 07 September 2022

The world’s first ‘infinite’ plastic. BBC, 12 May 2021

Ekō is a worldwide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.

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