On the Radio: Ecovative Coming to Cedar Rapids


Photo by mycobond; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers the arrival of Ecovative to Iowa. Listen to the audio below, on continue reading for the transcript.

A company from upstate New York that makes eco-friendly packaging materials from agricultural waste is setting up shop in eastern Iowa.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Ecovative is moving into a Cedar Rapids building that’s been vacant for five years.

The company has partnered with local farmers and processors within 30 miles of Cedar Rapids to provide corn stalks, a key raw material, for use in manufacturing at the new plant.

Called EcoCradle, the product starts as a  mix of agricultural wastes like corn stalks and mushroom mycelium. The mix is poured into molds, where the mycelium consumes the agricultural materials to gradually take on a solid, spongy form. It is air dried and later baked.

This material can be used in packaging, insulation, surfboards, and in many other products.

Unlike traditional foams and plastics, this material contains no petrochemicals. It breaks down naturally, and is safe enough that it can be chopped up and spread over gardens as a compost.

To learn more about Ecovative, visit iowaenvironmentalfocus.org

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor

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