Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Join host Paul Shapiro as he talks with some of the leading start-up entrepreneurs and titans of industry alike using their businesses to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Jul 15, 2023

Nearly none of the plastic we use—even what gets thrown in the recycling bin—actually gets recycled. One reason for that is that plastic manufacturers often include additives in their plastics which enhance the performance of the material, but reduce the recyclability of those plastics. 

But what if there were a natural additive that could mimic the performance improvements of conventional plastic additives while improving recyclability? That’s what MadeRight is betting on.

The Israeli startup, founded in 2022, is growing mycelium—the root-like structure of fungi—to produce extracts that can be pelletized and sold to plastic manufacturers, improving both performance and sustainability. 

Already, the company’s raised $1.5 million USD from some big names in consumer packaged goods, hired half a dozen team members, and is making small amounts of its mycelial extracts as a proof of concept. 

CEO Rotem Cahanovitc got the idea for such a company while living in Ethiopia and seeing families simply burning all their plastic waste to get rid of it. Why not make better plastics that could just be recycled or even composted, he wondered. And it would be even better if you could grow the mycelium on industrial byproducts, which MadeRight is doing.

The company’s now focused on scaling up to bring its slice of the plastic pollution solution to the market.

Discussed in this conversation

More about Rotem Cahanovitc

Rotem Cahanovitc is a mycology enthusiast innovating the use of fungi, the great recyclers of the planet, to support the transition to a flourishing, sustainable circular economy. He founded MadeRight envisioning creative ways to use fungi as a platform to produce the industrial materials of the future, starting with packaging made right.