Profits With A Purpose

How UBQ Is Helping Corporates Transform Garbage Into Sustainable Products

How A Startup Is Helping Corporates Transform Garbage Into Sustainable Products

UBQ Materials has developed a novel technology that turns trash normally headed for landfills -everything from rotting food to dirty diapers and plastic bags – into a sustainable bio-based composite material that can substitute for conventional plastic, wood and cement. Daimler and the Technical University Eindhoven in the Netherlands are separately testing its use in the body of cars and McDonald’s largest franchisee is already using it to make food trays. But that’s just the start. The company is in talks with several large construction companies about using UBQ’s material to make bricks, piping, flooring, roof tiles and panels. The startup’s patented thermoplastic material  can be dropped into conventional plastic manufacturing systems to produce what it says is an infinite range of end products such as furniture, shopping carts, retail displays, clothes hangers and gardening supplies. This week it opened a plant in the Netherlands which, when ramped up to full capacity by 2022, is expected to process 65,000 tons of trash a year.

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About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.