São Paulo - UBQ Materials, a cleantech developer of advanced materials made entirely from waste, has announced the development of a pilot project with Ambev. The Brazilian subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev was introduced to UBQ Materials through their innovation arm, Beer Garage to integrate UBQ™, a climate-positive thermoplastic, into the production of Ambev’s packaging. Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, is exploring the option of replicating the Brazilian pilot in Europe to confirm internationally scaled feasibility of UBQ™ to reduce the carbon footprint of various packaging materials.
UBQ Materials diverts unsorted municipal solid waste from landfills, including all organics, and converts it into a sustainable alternative for petroleum-based plastics, wood, and concrete. The novel material enables manufacturers to address multiple sustainability development goals with a single material substitution: waste diversion, emission prevention, and preservation of finite natural resources.
By diverting waste from landfills, every kilogram of UBQ™ produced prevents up to 12 kilograms of CO2eq from polluting the environment. For the single pilot project in Brazil, this means a reuse of over 650 kg of unrecyclable waste and the prevention of 5,800 kg of CO2eq. These values were calculated using GWP20 (global warming potential over a 20-year period).
“Waste is the most abundant resource available. Wherever humans live, manufacture, and operate, our technology can make a difference,” said Albert Douer, Chairman and Co-CEO of UBQ Materials. “Ambev is taking an important step in offsetting its carbon footprint and pushing back against methane emissions. We are happy to be catalyzing this change.”
Ambev, is aiming for increase recycled content of its packaging, and also in Brazil made a public commitment of plastic neutralization of its packaging by 2025 and continues to invest in sustainable alternatives across its entire production chain. The company has previously announced commitments to produce most of its packaging from recycled materials, purchase all of its electricity from renewable sources, improve water quality for all communities in its network, and enhance the sustainable infrastructure for all of its partner farmers.
“Using waste in the form of a recyclable substitute for plastic helps cater to the environment in more ways than one. We remain committed to having a positive impact on the ecosystem and contributing to a circular economy” said Karina Turci, Packaging Sustainability Manager at Ambev.
UBQ Materials’ current global expansion is marked by the addition of a large-scale facility in the Netherlands that will begin operating by end of this year. The new facility will supply material to brands and manufacturers throughout Europe, further localizing the waste-to-material production cycle.