Responsible Consumption and Production

Spinning Garbage into Gold - the Startup Nation Does It Again

Turn household, landfill trash into reusable plastic? Impossible! Scientist have been trying for decades – unsuccessfully – to convert garbage into plastic, according to one scientist at the Plastic Expert Group. Well Christopher Sveen, Chief Operations Officer at UBQ invites you to see, and believe.

After five years of development, the company is bringing its operations online, with hopes of revolutionizing waste management worldwide and making landfills obsolete. UBQ operates a pilot plant and research facility at Kibbutz Tzeelim, on the edge of southern Israel’s Negev Desert, where it has developed its production line.

Sounds like witchcraft, skeptics say.  Hardly. First the recyclable items – like glass, metals and minerals – are extracted. The remaining materials – banana peels, chicken bones, dirty plastics, cartons and dirty diapers – are dried and milled into a grey powder. The powder then enters a reaction chamber, where it is broken down and reconstituted as a plastic-like composite material. This material can then be molded into bricks, beams, planters, cans and construction materials. The patented process produces no carbon dioxide or toxic bi-products and uses little energy and no water. Last but not least, according to UBQ, the material does not degrade when it’s recycled.

Leading scientists serve on the advisory board of UBQ, including Nobel Prize chemist Roger Kornberg, Hebrew University biochemist Oded Shoseyov and Connie Hedegaard, a former European Commissioner for Climate Action. 

UBQ is optimistic that the business will be profitable and likely to succeed in the long run without government assistance. Learn more about UBQ.

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