UBQ Materials’ waste-based thermoplastic curbs methane emissions and boosts circular container production | So Good News


About 2 billion tons of waste are thrown away every year, which is equivalent to the weight of 10 million airplanes. When this waste is buried in landfills, the organic matter inside breaks down and forms methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. In fact, landfill methane is the third largest contributor to methane emissions worldwide.

We recently spoke with Jack ‘Tato’ Bigio, co-founder and co-CEO of Israel-based UBQ Materials, about how the company is turning organic and non-recyclable waste into a new, sustainable alternative to oil-based resins.

He said, “UBQ Materials is not a waste management company. We are an advanced materials company that uses household waste to create a new highly sustainable bio-based thermoplastic material, providing brands and manufacturers with a competitive alternative to the currently used oil-based resin.”

The company is based in Egypt. It is preparing for this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh and will be one of ten climate technology companies in the Israel Pavilion.

We recently spoke with Tato to learn more about the companies working with UBQ.

Christopher Marquis: Why did you establish UBQ??

Jack ‘Tato’ Bigio: Coming from a background in entrepreneurship and finance, and having developed several international clean energy projects in my career, I was inspired to form UBQ to convert waste destined for landfill into landfill. Waste is an untapped and unlimited resource. Sending it to landfills is the end of a linear economy that depletes our precious resources. By diverting waste from landfill and turning it into usable material, UBQ brings precious resources back to life to support the growing global demand for materials.

UBQTM A climate-friendly raw material that prevents methane emissions, preserves limited resources for future generations, and directly responds to the growing problem of waste accumulation, closing the loop of a true circular economy.

UBQ Materials is not a waste management company. We are an advanced materials company that uses household waste to create a new highly sustainable bio-based thermoplastic material, providing brands and manufacturers with a competitive alternative to the currently used oil-based resin. In doing so, it effectively addresses two issues: 1) landfill waste and associated methane emissions; underwater Soil and ocean runoff 2) Requires sustainable materials that reduce the environmental impact associated with all manufactured goods.

Marquis: What sets UBQ’s material apart from other bio-based materials? Can you explain how you can incorporate organic waste into the process and still get a pure, high quality product?

Bigio: What is unique about UBQ’s patent conversion process is that it treats different types of household waste; Chicken bones and dirty diapers leftover salad; Used scraps of plastic mixed with dirty cardboard. Only valuable metals and minerals that can be easily removed are separated and sent to proper recycling facilities.

Dry the remaining dirt and cut it into particle size. Then, Through the patent response process; We break down all these materials into their cellular organic components at the particle level and reassemble them into a homogenous matrix with mixed plastics.TM. plastic By replacing concrete and wood with UBQ™; It is now possible to reduce the carbon footprint of products and even reach carbon neutrality. The material itself can go back into production multiple times, providing cost-competitive circular shapes with oil-based resins.

Importantly, UBQ™ is compatible with all existing manufacturing processes and materials. So even replacing a certain percentage of traditional plastic with UBQ can reduce the carbon footprint enough to make the product climate neutral or have a positive impact on the environment.

Marquis: You recently received UL certification for your equipment – ​​how do you see this affecting your business?

Bigio: UL certification confirms that UBQ™ is composed entirely of post-consumer recycled content. As global corporations race to evaluate and implement solutions to meet ESG commitments, companies and manufacturers can now replace petroleum-based resins with UBQ™ to make the most effective use of post-consumer recycled content in products. We have a scalable and cost-competitive asset that enables us to reliably support industries and companies in meeting ESG goals and regulatory requirements.

Marquis: You have been recognized as a B-Corp since 2018 and this year was recognized as a “World’s Best-Environment” company by B Lab – what does that mean for the company?

Bigio: Achieving B-Corp certification and being recognized by B Lab demonstrates UBQ’s efforts to use business as a force for good, with clients, Confirmation helps build trust with partners and investors. UBQ™ has proven its usefulness and value as a nexus that helps transform the waste disposal and consumption system into a truly circular economy from the production of new products.

Marquis: What are the main applications and industries you are working on?

Bigio: UBQ’s global partners include automotive, logistics, supply chain; construction Includes retail and more. Any durable product you can imagine can be created using UBQ™. From car parts to vases. dog houses From transport equipment to PVC roofing and pipes; Almost any product that uses durable traditional plastics can be made using UBQ™.

Marquis: You recently shared an interesting application of your material aimed at the conference industry – how is the waste challenge in this industry? How does UBQ deal with this?

Bigio: The conference industry is notoriously busy. Conferences are organized as “small towns” of a few days or once a week. signs, Build and dispose of conference infrastructure, including tents and tables. At the end of the event, everything falls apart, and most of it ends up in the trash bin after the conference. conferences, disposable cups plates, That’s not even counting all the food waste associated with kitchen appliances. All of this waste ends up in landfills, eventually emitting methane gas. Ground water seepage and other environmental damage.

At the recent PLANETech World Conference, in the first global event made from landfill waste, UBQ teamed up with Palram, a manufacturer of thermal coatings for PLANETech World’s infrastructure core components made with UBQ™. Palram building panels prevent up to 12 tons of CO.2eq for every ton of UBQ™ used and collected by the manufacturer for reuse as new panels at the end of the event.

Its first product enabled PLANETech World to turn off its manufacturing cycle from waste several times over. By replacing oil-based plastic panels in conference infrastructure with UBQ™-based PVC boards, we were able to demonstrate that events, as well as the larger building and construction industry, can act as engines of the circular economy.

Marquis – I understand you are expanding to the Netherlands next year – why the Netherlands and what’s next?

Bigio: UBQ is expanding its global footprint to further define waste into the production cycle. Our first large-scale plant in the Netherlands will open in 2023 and produce 80,000 tonnes of UBQ™ annually to power the local and regional circular economy. Local waste can be used to fuel local production. We are Europe, We are looking for our next large factories in America and other countries. It offers new opportunities to utilize household waste as an endless resource.


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