Mushroom lovers all over the world have an alternative to the blizzard of cardboard boxes sent with death. Google’s parent company Alphabet is testing a product they are calling Fibercups in their new office in Mountain View, California — a paper-free solution that uses mushroom cells as the caps and paper for the lid. When employees see the coffins from their work area or reception, there will be a design indicating that they are a real mushroom coffins. This “green coffins” were also approved by the Mountain View City Council on Thursday, and are expected to be on shelves by the end of the year. Although Google and the Fibercups are not the first two products to pioneer the paper-free transition to the afterlife, most coffins sold in the world still use corrugated cardboard. David Schubert, a Google employee in Mountain View who tested the coffins, said: “It’s like a pot of soup that’s sealed in a cup,” according to The Independent. “It’s a completely compostable cup. When people see it, they want to take a picture of it.”
Facebook began testing biodegradable coffins, which were made from charcoal chips and have also been tested by Google, in 2016. The coffins contain paper capsules and a partition that separates the contents. Dave McLean, executive director of the environment group Friends of Earth, said the cells inside these coffins aren’t just for decoration. “These are alive things. They’re meant to have a function — they are the cells, and it’s wrong to kill them at the end,” he said.
There have been some concerns raised about the mushroom coffins’ lack of curbside recycling. Now the Mountain View City Council, however, is requiring the coffins to be recyclable as they gain notoriety. “With a few exceptions, the city doesn’t recycle cardboard and this kind of product requires a separate recycling bin,” Vice Mayor Jeff Cho said. The mayor added, “We’ve already made our request. [The compostable product] is not labeled for pick-up, so we will make sure it’s picked up.”
Read the full story at USA Today.
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