Motivated by a toxic problem

Moulding an innovative solution

The Toxic Problem 


The world dumps 11.2 million tonnes of polystyrene into landfill + 2.8 million tonnes of polystyrene contaminates waterways every year.

That costs us $4.6 billion by damaging our health, productivity and agriculture – something that’s projected to rapidly increase over the next decade.

Trash on Beach
Enjoying the Nature

For our CEO, James Ferrier, these statistics were unacceptable. With regulators continuing to tighten the noose on this toxic material and companies struggling to find suitable alternatives, he saw the urgent need for a highly customisable, fully compostable alternative.


“Our goal is to significantly reduce the harm toxic
materials are causing to the planet and to work towards
a world where waste streams regenerate, rather than
destroy our natural environment."

About BioFab

BioFab team is made up of leading biochemists, geneticists, mycologists, highly experienced engineers and purpose-driven entrepreneurs who are serious about science-based sustainability and the zero waste objective. With innovation in their DNA they’ve got the expertise and the drive to tackle the irresponsible use of plastic.

Our goal: significantly reduce the amount of harm we’re doing to the planet.


Earth-nourishing polystyrene alternative

BioFab’s solution was to use new technology to create polystyrene replacements from agricultural waste and eco-friendly mycelium – the vegetative root structure that produces mushrooms. This licenced process involves putting wood chips or hemp fibre in a mould, which forms a structure for mycelium growth.


The result can be used as packing foam, food containers and even wall insulation.

The Innovative Solution

Bio-composite - achieving true symbiosis 

Mycelium relies on a symbiotic relationship with nearby trees, which is very fitting. It’s the perfect metaphor for the way we do business. Fungus naturally provides nutrients to trees, and in return, trees provide carbohydrates and space. Similarly, BioFab are the start of a mutually beneficial relationship with our environment.

Now two years into our journey, BioFab, with help from our partners in the US, are the only company in Australasia using mushrooms as a highly competitive, fully compostable alternative to traditional toxic materials. The patented system turns an extremely complex process into something simple, ready for industries to adopt.

Award-winning innovation

BioFab were proudly selected as finalists for the 2019 C-Prize. This competition, run by Callaghan Innovation, challenges New Zealand innovators to use new technologies to tackle complex global problems, such as climate change and resource preservation, with creativity and inventiveness.

Significant landfill reduction

Approximately 30% of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) produced globally escapes waste processes and ends up in water ways, where it leaches toxins. Replacing EPS with bio composite not only reduces the waste going to landfill but avoids toxicity all together.

Measurable CO2 reduction

While removing polystyrene from the world will make a positive impact, the production of Bio Composite will also remove CO2 from the air. For example, the hemp used to make the composite will sequester 22 tonnes of CO2 per hectare, per crop cycle – one of the fastest CO2-biomass conversion tools available.

Contact us

9 Barmac Place, East Tamaki, Auckland 2013


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© 2020 by BioFab NZ