Daimler to Test Groundbreaking Israeli Waste-to-Plastic Material

The Mercedes logo. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

Automotive giant Daimler AG will test an innovative thermoplastic developed by Israeli cleantech company UBQ Materials, the companies announced recently. This makes Daimler, the owner of Mercedez-Benz, the first automotive company to partner with UBQ, which patented a process to convert household waste into a renewable thermoplastic material for commercial and industrial products, thus replacing petroleum-based plastics.

The thermoplastic was named last year as “the most climate-positive material on the planet” by sustainability strategists Quantis International, noting that each ton of the material equals the carbon emission reduction of 540 trees.

Daimler is currently evaluating the incorporation of the thermoplastic for a range of automobile parts, with UBQ stating that initial results have been positive.

“UBQ is a conduit for the next generation of sustainable products,” said UBQ co-founder and CEO Tato Bigio. “We could not think of a more fitting partner than Daimler, which has long been a global leader in technical innovation and quality engineering and shares our commitment to the health of the environment.”

UBQ is located in Kibbutz Tze’elim.

The process UBQ developed breaks down waste into its most basic natural components – lignin, cellulose, sugar, fiber – and produces a new composite material through a closed-loop, energy efficient process. UBQ’s southern Israel test plant, already supplying UBQ to the plastic industry, has a total production capacity of 5,000 tons per year, and the company plans to establish a full-scale industrial facility in the United States later this year.