How can we effectively integrate living organisms into our daily lives and consciously leverage their properties? The toilet paper we flush contains a mycelial component that is specifically reactivated during the flushing process. The hyphal network within the mycelium has the unique ability to metabolize pollutants dissolved in the water as it traverses through the sewage system. Given the substantial influx of pharmaceuticals, their degradation products, and other micropollutants into wastewater each day, the concentration of heavy metals, hormones, and antibiotics in groundwater is on the rise, significantly impacting our environment. To address this issue, I conducted material experiments and explored four potential strategies to integrate mycelium into industrial toilet paper production. The goal is to contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious approach in our daily routines.
However, current sewage treatment plants have limited capabilities in preventing wastewater pollution. Bacteria and protozoa play a role in metabolizing our excreta, contributing to the transformation of wastewater into drinking water. This treated water is then reintroduced into the natural water cycle or discharged into the nearest river. Moreover, traditional approaches to treating contaminated water are often expensive, energy-intensive, and may generate toxic by-products.
Flushed will initially be available in pharmacies. Depending on the medication used, the appropriate mycelium roll is recommended and can even be prescribed by a doctor.
Prof. Mareike Gast, Andreas Wagner and
Dr. Falko Matthes