EcoCradle is a novel bio-sourced material developed by US company Ecovative Design as a sustainable alternative to expanded polystyrene.
Ecovative says on its website: "We take regionally sourced agricultural byproducts like rice hulls or cotton gin trash and use our special patent pending process to introduce fungal mycelium, which is basically mushroom roots. The mycelium grows for 5-10 days transforming loose agricultural byproducts into an all-natural rigid material. The finished material has similar material properties and cost as synthetic foams like expanded polystyrene."
EcoCradle last year won awards in the US, including DuPont's Awards for Packaging Innovation and the Medium Material of the Year awards, and a Nova Institute 2011 biomaterials congress award.