Certified B Corp UBQ has patented the world’s first bio-based thermoplastic made entirely of unsorted household waste, including all the organics, converting it into a sustainable substitute for oil-based plastics.
Use of UBQ diverts municipal waste from landfills and incineration, preventing emissions from being released into the environment. For every ton of UBQ produced, up to 12 tons of CO₂eq are prevented from polluting the environment.
Following PepsiCo’s successful pilot in incorporating UBQ to reduce the carbon footprint of its shipping pallets, the snack giant is now incorporating its use in novel Lay’s potato chip displays, made in part with UBQ – rolling out across Europe.
Beyond the new product extension, PepsiCo has also expanded on the initial logistics pilot, ordering 30 thousand more shipping pallets made with UBQ. These pallets also feature recycled PP resin and recycled BOPP – the plastic film used in the company’s snack packaging – to complete the circular economy cycle.
Sustainable at its heart
“Our goal is to transform our entire supply chain to tackle the sustainability challenges the world faces,” said David Schwartz, VP of PepsiCo Labs.
“UBQ Materials’ waste-based thermoplastic reduces landfill waste, prevents emissions, and takes us towards circularity, which is why we are working towards scaling use of UBQ globally.
“We are putting sustainability and innovation at the heart of our operations. Achieving these goals is integral to the future of our business, our customers, our consumers and the planet.”
PepsiCo’s technology venture arm, Pepsi Labs, identified UBQ Materials as an anchor solution to support PepsiCo Positive (pep+) transformation, which places sustainability and human capital at the centre of how it creates growth and value.
“We are eager to extend implementation of our advanced material into new products and markets,” said Albert Douer, co-CEO and chair of UBQ Materials.
“PepsiCo Labs plays a critical role in supporting Pep+, prioritising innovations that minimise the company’s environmental impact. The climate crisis demands immediate action, and this collaboration is one example of how corporations can make significant change through simple substitutions.”
Following a round of investment led by TPG Climate Rise, UBQ Materials is planning to drive its global expansion and has built a large-scale facility in Bergen Op Zoom, the Netherlands, to further localise waste to production cycles across Europe.
Along with five other solutions innovators, UBQ Materials was recently selected to advance PepsiCo’s sustainability agenda, as the company works to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 75% by 2030.
UBQ also lists Mercedes-Benz, and Arcos Dorados, the world’s largest franchisee of McDonald’s restaurants across Latin America, among its clients.