Amanda Newman

  • Industry: Food and Beverage
  • Project Type: Plastic Use Reduction
  • Location: Tigard, OR
  • Major/University: Environmental Science, Portland State University



Amanda interviewed mycology experts and researched ways to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags for growing mushrooms during her internship at Bridgetown Mushrooms.

Potential Impact

Amanda’s recommendations could annually:





3 Tons

Prevent Plastic Waste


313 Metric Tons

Reduced CO2 Emissions


Bridgetown Mushrooms was founded in 2018. The company has17 employees and cultivates and sells gourmet mushrooms. They are one of the foremost mushroom companies in the Portland market. Bridgetown Mushrooms’ farming system includes using single-use plastic bags to grow mushrooms. Annual plastic pollution in mushroom cultivation amounts to roughly 1 million tons worldwide with Bridgetown Mushrooms contributing nearly 3 tons of plastic waste being disposed of in the landfill.

With expanding sales and demand, Bridgetown hopes to reduce such waste through long-term and short-term goals: 

  • Develop changes in mushroom species-specific cultivation techniques to eliminate plastic grow bags for long-term reduction.  
  • Investigate the creation of a reusable bag. 
  • Implement a recycling program for single-use plastic bags as a short-term solution. 


Amanda made several recommendations based on her research and talking with experts:

  • Conduct a waste audit to determine better waste management systems
  • Perform a life cycle assessment to gain a holistic outlook on where pollution prevention is most needed
  • Prototype a reusable bag to grow mushrooms to reduce plastic use

Bridgetown’s goal is to eliminate 3 tons of plastics; these recommendations will not only aid in the reduction of Bridgetown Mushrooms' ecological footprint but will be shared nationally and offer insight for other mushroom cultivators.