Israel-based cleantech company UBQ Materials has been named in TIME magazine’s list of the best inventions of 2023. The list features 200 innovations solving compelling problems in creative ways with the potential to change lives. UBQ Materials was recognised as a winning innovation in the “reuse & recycle” category for inventions reducing overconsumption.
The company has developed and patented a closed-loop process, which converts garbage waste - including food waste, mixed plastics, cardboard, paper, and dirty diapers - into a sustainable raw material for the manufacturing of everyday goods across a multitude of industries. The process works by breaking down the heterogeneous waste streams into their basic, natural components before reconstituting them to create a brand-new material. Around 70% to 80% of UBQ’s feedstock is broken down to its particulate constructs—lignin, cellulose, fibres, and sugars—and then reassembled and bound together into a matrix. The remaining 20% to 30% are mixed plastics that melt and bond into the matrix, creating a highly recyclable thermoplastic material.
According to a Life Cycle Assessment conducted by Quantis, every ton of UBQ produced diverts 1.3 tons of waste and prevents up to 11.7 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions. According to the manufacturer, that makes it ‘the most climate positive thermoplastic material on the planet’, it said on a statement.
"Our material, UBQ, replaces scarce and carbon intensive materials, including oil-based plastics," explained Jack 'Tato' Bigio, CEO and Co-founder of UBQ Materials. "We provide a climate positive material that is price competitive, straightforward to implement, and highly recyclable, converted from 100% household waste through a clean, zero waste, energy-efficient process."
This September, UBQ Materials raised $70 million in a financing round led by Eden Global Partners.