Warehousing & Logistics

Mycelium Packaging Ideas Impress A’dam Food Waste Hackathon Judges

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The Fungi For Future team’s innovative and scalable project focusing on the production of mycelium-based alternatives for packaging materials emerged victorious in the two-day “Tackling Food Waste for a Sustainable Future” hackathon in Amsterdam that concluded on September 21.

The competition among students and start-ups was organized by a group of waste prevention nonprofit organizations, public institutions, food production and cold storage companies including Lineage Logistics, Foodvalley NL, Instock, VU Amsterdam, Taste Before You Waste, The Waste Transformers and Van Geloven (a frozen snacks unit of McCain Foods) to increase awareness of food waste and identify creative ways to deal with the problem.

“We are amazed by the level of talent and dedication displayed by all the participants in this hackathon,” said Harld Peters, president of Lineage Europe, which hosted the event. “The ideas and solutions presented underscore the incredible potential of smart problem-solvers to drive positive change in our industry.”

Each year millions of tons of food go to waste, with nearly 59 million tons wasted in the European Union in 2020 alone, according to Eurostat estimates.

“Cold chain logistics providers like Lineage play an important role in moving food efficiently across Europe and deploying new technology to reduce food waste,” said Peters. “We were excited to host and bring together like-minded partners and explore new ways of thinking to address food waste and discuss ideas related to the future of food and sustainability.”

The hackathon featured an expert judging panel. In addition to Peters, it included Aer Teale, Marjolein Brasz, Bart Roetert, Kim Baraka, Marieke van Balen and Wingston Sharon. The jurists carefully reviewed entries and selected the most promising project for recognition.

The event concluded with a ceremony at the Eye Film Museum in Amsterdam, where winning Fungi for Future team members were saluted. In addition to a monetary prize, they will receive a personal mentorship through a six-month incubator program facilitated by The WasteTransformers and Lineage to develop and potentially implement their ideas.

Lara van Druten, chief executive officer of The Waste Transformers, commented: “I am very excited about the transformative potential of these young minds in revolutionizing the way we handle food waste. Together, we strive for a greener, more sustainable future.”