Impact Tech | September 14, 2023

UBQ Materials scores backing from TPG’s impact funds for its plastic alternative

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, September 14 – UBQ Materials converts banana peels, chicken bones, pizza boxes, baby diapers and other household waste into pellets that can replace fossil-fuel based plastics in car parts, footwear and other products.

The Israeli company raised $70 million from TPG Rise Fund and TPG Rise Climate, Battery Ventures and M&G Catalyst. Eden Global Partners led the round.

The B Corp is building a facility in the Netherlands to convert more than 115,000 tons of waste annually into nearly 90,000 tons of pellets.

UBQ’s partners include Arcos Dorados, a McDonald’s franchisee that owns more than 2,250 restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is using UBQ’s pellets to make food trays. Mercedes-Benz has tested the material for use in automotive parts.

UBQ acquires municipal solid waste and separates recyclable elements, like metals and minerals, to go back to traditional recyclers. The rest gets broken down into its basic organic components, like cellulose, fiber and sugar, and mixed with landfill- or incinerator-bound plastics to make the granules.

The company says its process uses no water and 100% solar energy.

Food protection

Separately, Boston-based DetraPel raised $7.6 million from Material Impact, packaging manufacturer INX International and others for its plastic-free food and textile films and coatings.