UBQ Materials has developed a patented process for converting unsorted household waste into a plastic substitute reducing carbon emissions, the UBQ. They have reached a partnership agreement with NYSE listed company, Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc, the largest independent McDonald’s franchise in the world.
Arcos Dorados operates the McDonald’s brand in Latin America and the Caribbean and it is looking to expand its environmental impact initiatives: they will begin using UBQ’s new environmentally-friendly material in some restaurants’ items starting in the first quarter of 2020.
The initiative is in addition to a series of sustainability actions already implemented by Arcos Dorados and McDonald’s. A year ago, the Company suspended the proactive serving of straws and launched a customer awareness campaign to avoid straw use during meals. At that time, the company promised to continue reducing the use of plastic in its restaurants.
UBQ™ is a new thermoplastic material by UBQ Materials: it is made of broken-down unsorted household waste turned into its most basic natural components (lignin, cellulose, sugar, fiber) and creating a new composite.
It is an environmentally-friendly material, created through a process which does not use water or emit harmful fumes. As a raw material, UBQ can be made into thousands of applications including bricks, shopping carts, pipes, trash cans, and automotive parts. The material has been developed over the last five years by UBQ scientists.
UBQ is a certified B-Corp, based in Israel and, imagining a world where finite resources are infinitely reused. Household waste could certainly fir into this category.
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“The partnership with Arcos Dorados has the potential to change mindsets around waste on our planet. Who would have thought that the materials used and discarded daily by society, and within a restaurant, could be upcycled into the durable products that surround us? Our innovative manufacturing process generates a zero or even a negative carbon emission balance, helping reduce global warming. Each ton of UBQ™ material produced is the equivalent of the carbon emission reduction of 540 trees,” said Albert Douer, Executive Chairman of UBQ about their partnership with Arcos Dorados.
While on Arcos Dorados side Gabriel Serber, Director of Social Commitment and Sustainable Development said: “As leaders in our sector we have the responsibility of leveraging our large scale to contribute to caring for the environment and doing good for society. The partnership with UBQ is another step in our commitment to sustainability, as it allows us to replace materials within our operations with similar ones whose ultimate carbon emissions are zero,”
This a very interesting change in a sector – the fast food industry – which is traditionally not the most sustainable and at Impakter we are happy to see steps taken in the right direction. Which fast-food chain company will follow Arcos Dorados steps?