PETnology Handbook 2024

(Photo credit: Vecoplan AG/UBQ Materials)

Waste conversion

Biobased thermoplastic made from unsorted household waste: Vecoplan supports UBQ for Belgian plant

1:16 min Recycled plasticsBiobased Material
Bad Marienberg, Germany

UBQ Materials has patented the world’s first thermoplastic material consisting entirely of unsorted household waste – including organics. The sustainable substitute for petroleum-based plastics will be manufactured using cutting-edge technology. The company has contracted Vecoplan with supplying all of the processing and storage equipment. For Vecoplan, a reliable partner of the recycling industry, this is the largest single order in its history

In December 2021, the Israeli cleantech company UBQ Materials commissioned the Vecoplan Group with supplying the mechanical processing and storage technology for its plant in Bergen Op Zoom, Netherlands, which will have an annual production capacity of 80,000 metric tons. Vecoplan will be involved with its full range of capabilities. Twenty other companies will be participating in the project, and Vecoplan will have the largest share in terms of equipment supplied. Start-up is planned for 2023.

Vecoplan began supporting UBQ already in the concept phase, when it provided its extensive expertise. The objective was to create an efficient material flow from intake all the way to transport and storage and to integrate these systems into the complex process as a whole.

"Our cooperation began back in 2013, when we helped with the pilot plant in Israel," says Martina Schmidt, Head of Recycling and Waste division at Vecoplan AG. "The special feature of the UBQ system is that, unlike conventional recycling, it utilises the entire waste stream. The new process makes it possible to upcycle a wide range of materials, including food waste, mixed plastics and paperboard, creating a new kind of raw material."

UBQ is a Certified B Corporation, which means it is committed through its statutes to social responsibility and ecological sustainability. Its customers include Mercedes-Benz, PepsiCo and Arcos Dorados Holdings, a company that owns the master franchise of the McDonald’s fast-food restaurant chain in 20 countries of Latin American and the Caribbean. UBQ’s newly patented bio-based thermoplastic material, which has beneficial climate effects and is available at a competitive price, gives manufacturers an easy way to increase their sustainability.

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