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Mushrooms Can Break Down 90% of Diaper Materials Within 2 Months

Mushrooms Can Break Down 90% of Diaper Materials Within 2 Months

Mario & Luigi would be proud.

Sometimes, discovery is about putting things together in new ways. We know that mushrooms can be great at breaking down pollutants, and we know that disposable diapers are a huge problems, with mountains of the slow-degrading poop-containers filling up landfills… So how about finding a kind of mushroom that feasts on diapers? That’s what researchers at the Metropolitan University in Mexico City have apparently done.

In an article published in Waste Management (the journal, not the company), Alethia Vázquez-Morillas describes her research. Via the Economist:

cultivating the right type of mushroom on soiled nappies can break down 90% of the material they are made of within two months. Within four, they are degraded completely. What is more, she says, despite their unsavoury diet the fungi in question, Pleurotus ostreatus (better known as oyster mushrooms), are safe to eat. To prove the point she has, indeed, eaten them.

Oyster mushrooms are good at this job because they feed on cellulose, the main material used in disposable diapers. In the wild, the Oyster mushrooms grow on dead trees, so they have the enzymes to break down cellulose…

This post was originally posted on Treehugger.

 

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Read more: , , , , , ,

Photo from Arthur Chapman via flickr
Written by Michael Graham Richard, a Treehugger blogger

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149 comments

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6:47AM PST on Jan 23, 2013

Thank you Lindsay, for Sharing this!

4:20AM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

its good to know this, with more research it could be a practical way to take care of diapers, but we may need a special waste disposals just for diapers. once again we need to remember how important is to separate our trash.

10:20AM PDT on Sep 17, 2011

This is fantastic! Now are we going to make this work to our advantage?

1:28PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

This sounds like a wonderful idea.

2:13AM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

Hmm. Gives new meaning to "oyster" mushrooms...

5:09PM PDT on May 30, 2011

Lemme get this straight: so she's eaten the mushrooms that eat the diapers? ewwwww.....=P

10:50AM PDT on May 30, 2011

Great news! But will the mushroom break down fast enough to keep up with the huge quantity we threw out?

Perhaps, we should consider going back to what our great-great grandmother were using back then... cloth diaper. Nowadays, there are diaper liner, to be used with cloth diaper. They are environmental-friendly and it make washing not as messy and unpleasant.

10:16PM PDT on May 29, 2011

Wow, that is great news! Hopefully implemented soon...

6:34PM PDT on May 29, 2011

From one stool to another....

5:03PM PDT on May 27, 2011

Great news but i don't know about eating the mushrooms after.

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