Israeli Firm Says It Can Turn Garbage Into Bio-Based Plastic

Israeli Firm Says It Can Turn Garbage Into Bio-Based Plastic

Hawks, vultures and storks circle overhead as Christopher Sveen points at the heap of refuse rotting in the desert heat. “This is the mine of the future,” he beams.

Sveen is chief sustainability officer at UBQ, an Israeli company that has patented a process to convert household trash, diverting waste from landfills into reusable bio-based plastic.

After five years of development, the company is bringing its operations online, with hopes of revolutionising waste management and being a driver to make landfills obsolete. It remains to be seen, however, if the technology really works and is commercially viable.

UBQ operates a pilot plant and research facility on the edge of southern Israel’s Negev Desert, where it has developed its production line.

“We take something that is not only not useful, but that creates a lot of damage to our planet, and we’re able to turn it into the things we use every day,” said Albert Douer, UBQ’s executive chairman. He said UBQ’s material can be used as a substitute for conventional petrochemical plastics and wood, reducing oil consumption and deforestation.

UBQ has raised $30 million (roughly Rs. 195 crores) from private investors, including Douer, who is also chief executive of Ajover Darnel Group, an international plastics conglomerate.

Leading experts and scientists serve on its advisory board, including Nobel Prize chemist Roger Kornberg, Hebrew University biochemist Oded Shoseyov, author and entrepreneur John Elkington and Connie Hedegaard, a former European Commissioner for Climate Action.

The small plant can process one ton of municipal waste per hour, a relatively small amount that would not meet the needs of even a midsize city. But UBQ says that given the modularity, it can be quickly expanded.

On a recent day, UBQ Chief Executive Tato Bigio stood alongside bales of sorted trash hauled in from a local landfill.

He said recyclable items like glass, metals and minerals are extracted and sent for further recycling, while the remaining garbage – “banana peels, the chicken bones and the hamburger, the dirty plastics, the dirty cartons, the dirty papers” – is dried and milled into a powder.

The steely gray powder then enters a reaction chamber, where it is broken down and reconstituted as a bio-based plastic-like composite material. UBQ says its closely-guarded patented process produces no greenhouse gas emissions or residual waste byproducts, and uses little energy and no water.

According to the United Nations Environment Program, 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are produced by decomposing organic material in landfills. Roughly half is methane, which over two decades is 86 times as potent for global warming as carbon dioxide, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

For every ton of material produced, UBQ says it prevents between three and 30 tons of CO2 from being created by keeping waste out of landfills and decomposing.

UBQ says its material can be used as an additive to conventional plastics. It says 10-15 percent is enough to make a plastic carbon-neutral by offsetting the generation of methane and carbon dioxide in landfills. It can be moulded into bricks, beams, planters, cans, and construction materials. Unlike most plastics, UBQ says its material doesn’t degrade when it’s recycled.

The company says converting waste into marketable products is profitable, and likely to succeed in the long run without government subsidies.

“What we do is we try to position ourselves at the end of the value chain, or at the end of the waste management hierarchy,” Sveen said. “So rather than that waste going to a landfill or being incinerated, that’s kind of our waste feedstock.”

The wonder plastic isn’t without its sceptics, however. Duane Priddy, chief executive of the Plastic Expert Group, said UBQ’s claims were “too good to be true” and likened it to alchemy.

“Chemists have been trying to convert lead to gold for centuries, without success,” Priddy, a former principal scientist at Dow Chemical, said in an email to The Associated Press. “Likewise, chemists have been trying to convert garbage to plastic for several decades.”

UBQ said it is confident its technology will prove the sceptics wrong. “We understand that’s people’s perceptions. We hope to convince them in a professional and scientific manner,” Sveen said.

Even if its technology is ultimately successful, UBQ faces questions about its long-term viability. Building additional plants could be expensive and time-consuming. It also needs to prove there is a market for its plastic products. The company said it is negotiating deals with major customers, but declined to identify them or say when the contracts would go into effect.

The UN Environment Program has made solid waste disposal a central issue to combatting pollution worldwide. Landfills contaminate air, water and soil, and take up limited land and resources. A December 2017 report by the international body devoted five of its 50 anti-pollution measures to reducing and processing solid waste.

“Every year, an estimated 11.2 billion tons of solid waste are collected worldwide,” the organisation says. “The solution, in the first place, is the minimisation of waste. Where waste cannot be avoided, recovery of materials and energy from waste as well as remanufacturing and recycling waste into usable products should be the second option.”

Israel lags behind other developed countries in waste disposal. The country of roughly 8 million people generated 5.3 million metric tons of garbage in 2016, according to the Environment Ministry. Over 80 percent of that trash ended up in increasingly crowded landfills. A third of Israel’s landfill garbage is food scraps, which decompose and produce greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide.

To UBQ, that means a nearly limitless supply of raw material.

“The fact is that the majority of waste goes to a landfill or is leaked into our natural environments because there simply aren’t holistic and economically viable technologies out there,” said Sveen.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Keywords Change for AdWords, GoDaddy Acquires Email Marketing Firm

There was big news from Google and GoDaddy this week. And those are just two of the news items with implications for small businesses recently. The Small Business Trends editorial team brings you some of the headlines that could impact your small business in a big way in our weekly small business news roundup.

Online Marketing

No More Phrase and Exact Keyword Match in AdWords

Holy smokes! Google has effectively killed off both the Exact and Phrase keyword match types in AdWords.

GoDaddy Acquires Email Marketing Service Mad Mimi

GoDaddy is adding another tool to its suite of small business services. Once known as just a place to buy domain names and website hosting, GoDaddy says that its latest acquisition – the email marketing service Mad Mimi – further shows its commitment to small businesses.

Finance

Square Expands Its Cash Advance Service for Small Businesses

Square is expanding its cash advance service for small businesses. The mobile point of sales provider says new funding will allow it to advance more money to more small businesses soon.

Square Appointments Assists You With Your Bookings

Square has introduced Square Appointments to its suite of services. Square Appointments gives businesses the ability to book clients quickly through an online or mobile app.

Email Marketing

Phil Hill of Flashissue: Turning Gmail into an Email Marketing Platform

Sending emails and doing email marketing campaigns are two completely different things. But with many small businesses living in Gmail today, being able to do full blown email campaigns right from within the popular app may be just what many entrepreneurs need to efficiently execute more successful marketing interactions.

Local Marketing

Study Shows Consumers Prefer Shopping in a Store, Not Online

Good news for small retailers. Consumers of all ages still prefer physical stores to eCommerce shopping, according to a study by A.T. Kearney.

This Guy Promotes an Entire Town Online

Charles Town, W. Va. didn’t have much of an online presence before Van Applegate showed up. Now, the town and all of its local merchants have found a way to truly benefit from technology, promoting their town online.

Research

Nostalgia Makes People Spend More, Study Finds

A recent study shows something marketers and business owners have believed all along. Nostalgia is not only persuasive in a marketing message, it actually makes customers willing to spend more.

Mobile Trends

New Shopping App Connects Fashion Brands With Mobile Customers

Mobile technology is catching on with the online shopping crowd. But mobile storefronts are still not nearly as common as online storefronts. Part of the reason behind this has to do with access.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Technovation Shows Technology in Actual Room Settings

Did you ever wish that as a buyer, you could see and experience the tech solutions that could help you run your business — in action? Gathered in one place?

Small Business Operations

51 Franchised UPS Stores Hacked, Possible Data Breach

If you used a credit card to pay for services or products at The UPS Store this year, your private information may have been hacked.

LLCs are a Hot New Trend Among Sole Proprietors

Unless you are an accountant specializing in small business, you may not be aware of a new trend in the world of sole proprietorships: registering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a limited liability company (LLC).

Social Media

Users Aren’t Happy That Twitter Now Reweets Favorites and Follows

A new Twitter experiment shares favorites and follows in others’ Twitter streams as if they were retweets – and a vocal group of users aren’t too thrilled about the idea.

Technology

HTC Flagship Phone Now Has Windows Phone 8.1 Version

HTC has announced the launch of the HTC One M8 for Windows 8.1. The company claims the phone is the first example of a flagship device being offered with two different operating systems.

HP Stream 14 Is Windows Answer to The Chromebook

The HP Stream 14 runs Windows but will sell for just $199. As trends show increased adoption of the Chromebook by small businesses, Hewlett-Packard offers its own inexpensive laptop with cloud storage  features, running a more familiar operating system to business users, which is the HP Stream 14.

Chromebook Sales Will Rise As Businesses Adopt Cloud Technology

Chromebook sales are on the rise. And their use in the business community is expected to contribute to their continued popularity. New research shows that sales of Chromebook devices rose sharply last year and will continue on that trend in the near future.

Tiny Polaroid Cube Records HD Video On-The-Go

Polaroid has introduced a new camera that can go just about anywhere with you. The Polaroid Cube is only 35mm tall, wide, and deep … a true cube. It’s capable of shooting 90 minutes of 1080p HD video on a single charge.

swivelCard: One Part Business Card, One Part USB Drive

swivelCard, at first glance, looks like a basic business card made of thick cardstock. But the innovative feature is the card’s ability to fold up and become a USB drive.

Funding

Venture Capitalists Now Search Crowdfunding Sites for Opportunities

When crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo began taking off, some thought they would make venture capitalists obsolete. That has not been the case so far. Crowdfunding sites have actually served as an opportunity for professional investors to easily find new startups to fund.

Product Lists

Top 100 Small Business Podcasts: 2014 Edition

As the years roll on, podcasts still continue to be popular. We’re excited to announce the 5th Annual Top 100 Small Business Podcasts 2014 Edition.

Reading Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Keywords Change for AdWords, GoDaddy Acquires Email Marketing Firm

There was big news from Google and GoDaddy this week. And those are just two of the news items with implications for small businesses recently. The Small Business Trends editorial team brings you some of the headlines that could impact your small business in a big way in our weekly small business news roundup.

Online Marketing

No More Phrase and Exact Keyword Match in AdWords

Holy smokes! Google has effectively killed off both the Exact and Phrase keyword match types in AdWords.

GoDaddy Acquires Email Marketing Service Mad Mimi

GoDaddy is adding another tool to its suite of small business services. Once known as just a place to buy domain names and website hosting, GoDaddy says that its latest acquisition – the email marketing service Mad Mimi – further shows its commitment to small businesses.

Finance

Square Expands Its Cash Advance Service for Small Businesses

Square is expanding its cash advance service for small businesses. The mobile point of sales provider says new funding will allow it to advance more money to more small businesses soon.

Square Appointments Assists You With Your Bookings

Square has introduced Square Appointments to its suite of services. Square Appointments gives businesses the ability to book clients quickly through an online or mobile app.

Email Marketing

Phil Hill of Flashissue: Turning Gmail into an Email Marketing Platform

Sending emails and doing email marketing campaigns are two completely different things. But with many small businesses living in Gmail today, being able to do full blown email campaigns right from within the popular app may be just what many entrepreneurs need to efficiently execute more successful marketing interactions.

Local Marketing

Study Shows Consumers Prefer Shopping in a Store, Not Online

Good news for small retailers. Consumers of all ages still prefer physical stores to eCommerce shopping, according to a study by A.T. Kearney.

This Guy Promotes an Entire Town Online

Charles Town, W. Va. didn’t have much of an online presence before Van Applegate showed up. Now, the town and all of its local merchants have found a way to truly benefit from technology, promoting their town online.

Research

Nostalgia Makes People Spend More, Study Finds

A recent study shows something marketers and business owners have believed all along. Nostalgia is not only persuasive in a marketing message, it actually makes customers willing to spend more.

Mobile Trends

New Shopping App Connects Fashion Brands With Mobile Customers

Mobile technology is catching on with the online shopping crowd. But mobile storefronts are still not nearly as common as online storefronts. Part of the reason behind this has to do with access.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Technovation Shows Technology in Actual Room Settings

Did you ever wish that as a buyer, you could see and experience the tech solutions that could help you run your business — in action? Gathered in one place?

Small Business Operations

51 Franchised UPS Stores Hacked, Possible Data Breach

If you used a credit card to pay for services or products at The UPS Store this year, your private information may have been hacked.

LLCs are a Hot New Trend Among Sole Proprietors

Unless you are an accountant specializing in small business, you may not be aware of a new trend in the world of sole proprietorships: registering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a limited liability company (LLC).

Social Media

Users Aren’t Happy That Twitter Now Reweets Favorites and Follows

A new Twitter experiment shares favorites and follows in others’ Twitter streams as if they were retweets – and a vocal group of users aren’t too thrilled about the idea.

Technology

HTC Flagship Phone Now Has Windows Phone 8.1 Version

HTC has announced the launch of the HTC One M8 for Windows 8.1. The company claims the phone is the first example of a flagship device being offered with two different operating systems.

HP Stream 14 Is Windows Answer to The Chromebook

The HP Stream 14 runs Windows but will sell for just $199. As trends show increased adoption of the Chromebook by small businesses, Hewlett-Packard offers its own inexpensive laptop with cloud storage  features, running a more familiar operating system to business users, which is the HP Stream 14.

Chromebook Sales Will Rise As Businesses Adopt Cloud Technology

Chromebook sales are on the rise. And their use in the business community is expected to contribute to their continued popularity. New research shows that sales of Chromebook devices rose sharply last year and will continue on that trend in the near future.

Tiny Polaroid Cube Records HD Video On-The-Go

Polaroid has introduced a new camera that can go just about anywhere with you. The Polaroid Cube is only 35mm tall, wide, and deep … a true cube. It’s capable of shooting 90 minutes of 1080p HD video on a single charge.

swivelCard: One Part Business Card, One Part USB Drive

swivelCard, at first glance, looks like a basic business card made of thick cardstock. But the innovative feature is the card’s ability to fold up and become a USB drive.

Funding

Venture Capitalists Now Search Crowdfunding Sites for Opportunities

When crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo began taking off, some thought they would make venture capitalists obsolete. That has not been the case so far. Crowdfunding sites have actually served as an opportunity for professional investors to easily find new startups to fund.

Product Lists

Top 100 Small Business Podcasts: 2014 Edition

As the years roll on, podcasts still continue to be popular. We’re excited to announce the 5th Annual Top 100 Small Business Podcasts 2014 Edition.

Reading Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-ndtv”]

Keywords Change for AdWords, GoDaddy Acquires Email Marketing Firm

tablet on porch

There was big news from Google and GoDaddy this week. And those are just two of the news items with implications for small businesses recently. The Small Business Trends editorial team brings you some of the headlines that could impact your small business in a big way in our weekly small business news roundup.

Online Marketing

No More Phrase and Exact Keyword Match in AdWords

Holy smokes! Google has effectively killed off both the Exact and Phrase keyword match types in AdWords.

GoDaddy Acquires Email Marketing Service Mad Mimi

GoDaddy is adding another tool to its suite of small business services. Once known as just a place to buy domain names and website hosting, GoDaddy says that its latest acquisition – the email marketing service Mad Mimi – further shows its commitment to small businesses.

Finance

Square Expands Its Cash Advance Service for Small Businesses

Square is expanding its cash advance service for small businesses. The mobile point of sales provider says new funding will allow it to advance more money to more small businesses soon.

Square Appointments Assists You With Your Bookings

Square has introduced Square Appointments to its suite of services. Square Appointments gives businesses the ability to book clients quickly through an online or mobile app.

Email Marketing

Phil Hill of Flashissue: Turning Gmail into an Email Marketing Platform

Sending emails and doing email marketing campaigns are two completely different things. But with many small businesses living in Gmail today, being able to do full blown email campaigns right from within the popular app may be just what many entrepreneurs need to efficiently execute more successful marketing interactions.

Local Marketing

Study Shows Consumers Prefer Shopping in a Store, Not Online

Good news for small retailers. Consumers of all ages still prefer physical stores to eCommerce shopping, according to a study by A.T. Kearney.

This Guy Promotes an Entire Town Online

Charles Town, W. Va. didn’t have much of an online presence before Van Applegate showed up. Now, the town and all of its local merchants have found a way to truly benefit from technology, promoting their town online.

Research

Nostalgia Makes People Spend More, Study Finds

A recent study shows something marketers and business owners have believed all along. Nostalgia is not only persuasive in a marketing message, it actually makes customers willing to spend more.

Mobile Trends

New Shopping App Connects Fashion Brands With Mobile Customers

Mobile technology is catching on with the online shopping crowd. But mobile storefronts are still not nearly as common as online storefronts. Part of the reason behind this has to do with access.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Technovation Shows Technology in Actual Room Settings

Did you ever wish that as a buyer, you could see and experience the tech solutions that could help you run your business — in action? Gathered in one place?

Small Business Operations

51 Franchised UPS Stores Hacked, Possible Data Breach

If you used a credit card to pay for services or products at The UPS Store this year, your private information may have been hacked.

LLCs are a Hot New Trend Among Sole Proprietors

Unless you are an accountant specializing in small business, you may not be aware of a new trend in the world of sole proprietorships: registering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a limited liability company (LLC).

Social Media

Users Aren’t Happy That Twitter Now Reweets Favorites and Follows

A new Twitter experiment shares favorites and follows in others’ Twitter streams as if they were retweets – and a vocal group of users aren’t too thrilled about the idea.

Technology

HTC Flagship Phone Now Has Windows Phone 8.1 Version

HTC has announced the launch of the HTC One M8 for Windows 8.1. The company claims the phone is the first example of a flagship device being offered with two different operating systems.

HP Stream 14 Is Windows Answer to The Chromebook

The HP Stream 14 runs Windows but will sell for just $199. As trends show increased adoption of the Chromebook by small businesses, Hewlett-Packard offers its own inexpensive laptop with cloud storage  features, running a more familiar operating system to business users, which is the HP Stream 14.

Chromebook Sales Will Rise As Businesses Adopt Cloud Technology

Chromebook sales are on the rise. And their use in the business community is expected to contribute to their continued popularity. New research shows that sales of Chromebook devices rose sharply last year and will continue on that trend in the near future.

Tiny Polaroid Cube Records HD Video On-The-Go

Polaroid has introduced a new camera that can go just about anywhere with you. The Polaroid Cube is only 35mm tall, wide, and deep … a true cube. It’s capable of shooting 90 minutes of 1080p HD video on a single charge.

swivelCard: One Part Business Card, One Part USB Drive

swivelCard, at first glance, looks like a basic business card made of thick cardstock. But the innovative feature is the card’s ability to fold up and become a USB drive.

Funding

Venture Capitalists Now Search Crowdfunding Sites for Opportunities

When crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo began taking off, some thought they would make venture capitalists obsolete. That has not been the case so far. Crowdfunding sites have actually served as an opportunity for professional investors to easily find new startups to fund.

Product Lists

Top 100 Small Business Podcasts: 2014 Edition

As the years roll on, podcasts still continue to be popular. We’re excited to announce the 5th Annual Top 100 Small Business Podcasts 2014 Edition.

Reading Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]