In Israel, a startup has developed a process to turn garbage into plastic. UBQ’s process took five years to develop, but the company has a working pilot plant and research facility near the Negev Desert. Recyclable items like glass, metals and minerals are extracted from the nearby landfill, while the remaining garbage is dried and converted into a powder. The powder is then broken down and reconstituted as a biobased plastic-like composite material.
“We take something that is not only not useful, but that creates a lot of damage to our planet, and we’re able to turn it into the things we use every day,” Albert Douer, UBQ’s executive chairman and CEO of plastics conglomerate Ajover Darnel Group, tells the Texarkana Gazette.
UBQ has raised $30 million from private investors, including Douer. The company’s advisory board includes Roger Kornberg, a Nobel Prize recipient for chemistry.
The pilot plant can process one ton of municipal waste per hour, but the process is modular and easily expanded.