Fungi Mutarium Turns Plastic Into Food

Austrian design group Livin shows us how one of our most challenging waste products can become a delicious snack.


Plastic can be one of the hardest materials to break down—indeed, if not recycled or processed chemically, that water bottle you just drank will remain on this Earth long after you are gone. While many groups are fighting hard for “bottle bills” and other recycling incentives and mandates, Austrian design studio Livin and Utrecht University have teamed up to create a different kind of solution: the Fungi Mutarium. The device uses fungus in little cups made of agar (a seaweed-based jelly) to digest sterilized plastic, which is metabolized into the fungus, leaving no traces of the original waste. But that’s not even the best part: after the plastic is digested, the agar cups and their resultant contents are completely edible. Yes, that’s right, these fungi actually turn plastic into something you can eat.