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|Mike Thaman (CEO)|
Jack (Tato) Bigio (Co-Founder)
Yehuda Pearl (Co-Founder)
UBQ Materials is a cleantech company that converts household and municipal waste into bio-based thermoplastic composite for reuse in the manufacturing of substitute plastics and durable products. The company is an Israeli start-up founded by Rabbi Yehuda Pearl, who also founded hummus brand Sabra and Jack (Tato) Bigio, CEO of UBQ Materials Israel. It is a Certified B Corporation. In March 2020, the company named Mike Thaman, former chairman and chief executive officer of Owens Corning, as its chief executive officer.
UBQ Materials was founded in 2012 by Jack (Tato) Bigio and Yehuda Pearl. Prior to UBQ Materials, Bigio co-founded and managed Merhav Renewable Energies (MRE), and Pearl established Sabra Dipping Co., a hummus brand sold to PepsiCo in 2007. UBQ has raised $27 million from private investors and from global venture capital funds Battery Ventures and EASME. UBQ has offices located in Tel Aviv, Israel, and a manufacturing plant in Kibbutz Tze'elim in the Negev area of southern Israel. The patented UBQ product and manufacturing process was developed between 2012 and 2017. In 2018, UBQ began commercial production.
UBQ waste conversion technology produces thermoplastic pellets as an alternative to oil-based resources that are traditionally used in plastics manufacturing. UBQ technology extracts metal, glass, minerals, cardboard and paper for further recycling. Household food waste, paper, cardboard and dirty plastics are dried and milled into a powder and reconstituted into a plastic-like composite. The resulting pellets are integrated with standard plastic pellets by conventional plastics manufacturers to create substitute plastic materials.
The raw materials of the process are organic materials and mixed plastics. Each stream is broken down to its core components. Residual solid municipal waste (fabrics, paper, cardboard and mixed plastics) and organic waste (food waste and paper) typically comprising about 70% of feedstock weight, is broken down to its particulate components - lignin, cellulose, fibers, and sugars - then reassembled and bound together into a matrix to create a thermoplastic composite material in pellet or powder form. During production, minimal energy and no water are used thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and residual waste by-products. For every ton of material produced, the process prevents the equivalent of 3-30 tons of CO2 from being created by keeping waste from decomposing in landfills.
Bio-based thermoplastic UBQ material is used in injection, compression molding, extrusion and 3D printing, and is compatible with PP, PE, PLA, and PVC. It typically has concentrations[clarification needed] of 30% to 100%. It may be compounded with additives to modify coloration, impact strength, and UV resistance.
State of Virginia
In August 2019, Virginia’s Waste Management Authority became the first U.S. company to purchase waste containers made of UBQ in Richmond, Virginia and the surrounding area.
In November 2019, UBQ Materials entered into a collaboration with fast-food chain McDonald's Latin America franchisee Arcos Dorados to provide UBQ product to McDonald's Latin America restaurants and supply chains.
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