These Biodegradable Headphones Are Made From Fungus

They might one day replace more traditional headphones, which create a lot of waste.

Researchers in Finland have created a prototype for biodegradable headphones that are made from fungus.

The headphones, called Korvaa headphones, were created in a joint effort by three sets of scientists at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to raise awareness about microbes and how they can be used in sustainable production. They were made in collaboration with Aalto University and design firm Aivan.

“We wanted to combine these different materials in the headset because we thought it was a great opportunity to combine different materials, and no one had done it before, actually, to bring all these different microbes into the development of [an] electronic device,” one of the scientists Pezhman Mohammadi explained.”

Mohammadi and the other researchers made the soft padding of the headphones by combining fungus and cellulose to create a foamy protein. Once the foam was created, they piped it into molds to turn it into headphone-friendly cushions. The more structural components of the headphones were made with biodegradable PLA plastic made from yeast. The only parts that aren’t bio-based are the electrical components.

As of right now, the headphones aren’t commercially available, but the scientists hope they will one day help replace electronic devices with oil-based plastics.