German automaker Daimler will see if it’s feasible to manufacture automobile parts from a thermoplastic-like material made from household waste by Israeli cleantech company UBQ Materials.
Daimler is the first automotive company to partner with UBQ, which has developed a patented process to convert mixed streams of recyclable and traditionally non-recyclable waste into a renewable raw material that can be made into everyday goods.
Daimler chose to partner with UBQ through Plug and Play’s Startup Autobahn, an innovation platform connecting emerging technologies and pilot opportunities with multinational corporations.
To produce its thermoplastic-like material, UBQ breaks down trash into basic natural components (lignin, cellulose, sugar, fiber) and creates a new sustainable, composite material through a closed-loop, energy-efficient process that does not use water, generate effluents, or emit harmful fumes or residues.
As a raw material, UBQ pellets can be made into thousands of items including shopping carts, pipes and trash cans.
Last November, UBQ partnered with Arcos Dorados, the largest independent McDonald’s franchise in the world, which will use UBQ material in furnishings at its restaurants across Latin America.
In September, the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority became the first US organization to partner with UBQ, intending to make 2,000 recycling bins with the earth-friendly material.
UBQ’s test plant in southern Israel supplies the material to the local plastic industry with a capacity of 5,000 tons per year. A full-scale facility is planned for the United States later this year.