Yes, cups from corn and the like have been around for years, but those products have their own problems. Products made from polylactide (PLA)–which can be derived from corn, beets, potatoes or wheat–can’t be recycled with the far more common polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used in soda bottles, and claims that the plastic biodegrades may have been greatly exaggerated. Could a gelatinous tumbler be any different?
Another product made from food–sort of–is Ecovative‘s EcoCradle, which is composed of rice husks and fungal mycelium–more or less mushroom roots, explains company founder Gavin McIntyre. His company fills a mold with agricultural waste, like rice husks or cotton gin discards, adds mycelia, and within two weeks the roots have grown to form a dense, lightweight network stronger than styrofoam and ultimately compostable, says McIntyre.