UBQ Materials, a climate tech developer based in Israel, is addressing the pressing issues of waste generation, plastic production, and carbon emissions. The company has partnered with major corporations like McDonald’s to tackle these challenges. UBQ Materials utilizes advanced conversion technology to transform residual waste, including hard-to-recycle materials and organics, into a renewable resource. Recently, the company announced an expansion of its partnership with Arcos Dorados, the largest independent McDonald’s franchisee in the world. Arcos Dorados operates the largest quick-service restaurant chain in Latin America and the Caribbean and has the authority to own, operate, and grant McDonald’s franchises.
The partnership between UBQ Materials and Arcos Dorados began in 2019 as part of the franchisee’s sustainable materials strategy. Together, they have incorporated UBQ™ into McTrays used in McDonald’s restaurants across Brazil and the Caribbean. These sustainable trays have achieved climate positivity, meaning their estimated climate impact is offset for over 20 years. Building on this successful collaboration, Arcos Dorados is now expanding the use of UBQ™ materials into building components such as electrical conduits, connection boxes, and modular wooden boards. This expansion is seen as a significant step towards setting a new standard for environmental responsibility in the restaurant sector.
The project aligns with Arcos Dorados’ broader plan to replace carbon-intensive materials and reduce emissions to meet ambitious sustainability goals. By investing in a circular economy, the franchisee aims to reduce carbon emissions by 36% in McDonald’s restaurants and offices by 2030. Additionally, they plan to lower their footprint by 31% across the company’s supply chain by the same year.
UBQ Materials addresses the triple concerns of waste generation, plastic production, and carbon emissions through its breakthrough conversion technology. The company produces UBQ™, the first bio-based thermoplastic made entirely from unsorted household waste, including organics and unrecyclable materials. This recycled material serves as a substitute for oil-based plastic resins used in various industries. For every kilogram of UBQ™ produced, one kilogram of fossil fuel-based plastic is replaced, diverting 1.3 kilograms of waste from landfills and avoiding approximately 11.7 kilograms of carbon emissions over a 20-year period.
One of the significant benefits of using UBQ™ is the substantial reduction in carbon emissions from landfills. The production process involves converting unsorted residual solid waste into a new resource through an energy-efficient process. As a result, the UBQ solution offers an environmental net benefit by avoiding more than 14 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of UBQ™ produced. UBQ Materials not only contributes to reducing landfill emissions but also plays a crucial role in promoting a transition to a circular economy. By diverting waste, converting it into a valuable resource, and emphasizing resource efficiency, the company’s innovative waste conversion process replaces the linear cradle-to-grave system with a closed-loop ecosystem.
The versatility of UBQ™ has been demonstrated by various companies that have successfully incorporated it into existing composites, creating eco-friendly alternatives to everyday materials and products. McDonald’s is the first company to utilize UBQ™ in building components, resulting in a significant reduction in carbon emissions. The franchisee is working with a Latin American pipe manufacturer to produce electrical parts using UBQ™. Additionally, UBQ Materials has partnered with Brazilian manufacturer Madeplast to integrate UBQ™ into modular wood boards used in McDonald’s bench structures. These partnerships highlight the commitment of Arcos Dorados and McDonald’s to reducing carbon emissions and addressing climate change.
Albert Douer, Chairman of UBQ Materials, emphasizes the importance of collaborations like these in driving meaningful change. He believes that sustainability does not have to come at the cost of performance or a company’s bottom line. Arcos Dorados and McDonald’s are taking responsibility within their industry by actively pursuing sustainable solutions.
In conclusion, UBQ Materials, in partnership with Arcos Dorados and McDonald’s, is addressing the pressing challenges of waste generation, plastic production, and carbon emissions. Through its breakthrough conversion technology, UBQ Materials produces UBQ™, a bio-based thermoplastic made from unsorted household waste. This innovative material serves as a substitute for oil-based plastic resins and offers significant environmental benefits. The partnership with McDonald’s has resulted in the use of UBQ™ in serving trays and building components, contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions. These collaborations demonstrate the commitment of both UBQ Materials and McDonald’s to sustainability and environmental responsibility.