UBQ shares the stage with Prof. Ada E. Yonath at the AIPPI Israel 2018: International Convention on the Economy of Innovation Gala

UBQ Materials CEO, Jack ‘Tato’ Bigio, had the honor of introducing the UBQ Materials Solution at the AIPPI Gala Event as a part of the AIPPI Israel 2018: International Convention on the Economy of Innovation. 

 ‘It was a pleasure to speak at such an event with amazing thoughleaders and inspiring people. I felt especially honored to appear together with Prof. Ada Yonath, a world renowned scientist, Nobel Prize Winner and a remarkable person.'
- Tato Bigio

The AIPPI Gala Event was hosted by Dr. Ilan Cohn, Senior Partner, Reinhold Cohn Group, Co-chairman of the Conference Organising Committee and UBQ Materials International Advisory Board member.


Opening remarks by Dr. Ilan Cohn (AIPPI Gala Event)

Tato Bigio, took the stage to present UBQ and its technology, our thoughts on development and expansion on a global level with our innovative advanced waste conversion technology. Also our ambition to reach our goals while maximizing the highest triple bottom line impact we can have. 


Jack ‘Tato’ Bigio on the stand at the AIPPI Gala Event

Tato Bigio and Dr. Ilan Cohn also had the chance to discuss the UBQ Materials waste solution with Nobel Price winner in Chemistry and acclaimed scientist, Prof. Ada E. Yonath. 


Prof. Ada Yonath accompanied with Dr. Ilan Cohn (left) and Tato Bigio (right).

This 3th annual conference took place at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv from April 29th - May 1th. The conference took a hybrid approach and offered insight into the pivotal legal and business decisions faced by innovators and businesses on a daily basis. Over 100 prominent speakers from the U.S., Europe, Asia and Israel participated.

AIPPI and AIPPI Israel
It is a politically neutral non-profit organization, headquartered in Switzerland, which currently has almost 9000 members, representing more than 100 countries.

The objective of AIPPI is to improve and promote the protection of intellectual property on both an international and national basis.  It pursues this objective by working for the development, expansion and improvement of international and regional treaties and agreements, and also national laws relating to intellectual property.

AIPPI operates by conducting studies of existing national laws and policies, and proposes measures to promote best practices and achieve international harmonization of law, policy and practice.  In this context, AIPPI has become increasingly involved with defining well balanced systems for protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights.

Read more on their homepage www.aippi.org.

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UBQ open its doors to China

The UBQ advanced waste conversion system and bio-based materials have an appeal to the Chinese market. Aggressive government anti-pollution campaigns resulted in a 54% drop in air pollution last year in Beijing alone. CGTV’s Stephanie Freid visited the UBQ plant where UBQ was featured on CGTV, as they are seeking Lighthouse Solutions with innovative solutions for waste disposal and reducing emissions.  

As part of China’s focus on air pollution, community health, and reducing waste pollution and related emissions, UBQ is gaining traction and attention from potential strategic partners. UBQ’s vision of a world of zero waste, showing the immense value within waste, solutions like ours are becoming vital to China’s new position on waste.  Working with China and strategic partners, this could be the start of a massive change in way the world will see and handle waste.

The value proposition of converting waste into commercially viable materials that manufactures can use to make their products, provides an obvious win-win for all parties involved. Positioned with competitive and stable material pricing, offering a renewable and recyclable material, while having a significant environmental impact could bring UBQ to be one of the Lighthouse Activities China will seek to implement in the near future.

The problem is clear, landfills and decomposing waste dumped within are breeding grounds for greenhouse gases, specifically methane, which are over 86 times more toxic than carbon dioxide.

Diverting waste from landfills, open burning, and illegal dumping is the only way we stand a chance to reduce emissions and pollution generated from the +2 billion tons of waste produced globally each year. Even though there has been significant progress in recycling, the world today only recycles approximately 5%-10% of materials in circulation.

Here you can see the full interview(video) and article on CGTV.

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Monetizing Waste

Plastic Bank wants to monetize waste to stop plastic pollution. There are approximately 150 tons of plastic in the ocean, with one garbage truck of waste entering the ocean every minute. David Katz, founder of Plastic Bank, believes turning waste into a currency will encourage people to collect waste instead of dumping it.

 

David Katz explains how his company will change the way the world deals with plastic.

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UBQ in the NYTimes

KIBBUTZ ZEELIM, Israel — 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 revolutionizing 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 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 U.N. 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 molded 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 skeptics, 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 skeptics 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 U.N. 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 organization says. "The solution, in the first place, is the minimization 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.

The article is no longer avaivable at The New York Times - but read more at source/AP.

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Food Waste

Around 50 percent of all produce in the United States is thrown away— $160 billion worth of produce annually.

Wasted food is also the single biggest occupant in American landfills, the Environmental Protection Agency has found. The organic material in landfills decomposes and emits Greenhouse Gases, specifically Methane which is 21x more powerful at trapping heat than CO2.

No one likes to throw out food, so why do we do it?

Vox Media dove into the issue and analyzed the psychology behind it.

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Year of Polar Prediction

The Year of the Polar Prediction has begun a two-year international effort aimed to improve predictions of weather, climate and ice conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. The warming Arctic does not only have a debilitating effect on the traditional indigenous communities, wildlife and ecosystem on the local level, it also influences weather conditions all over the world. The effects of the warming Arctic include extreme cold spells, heat spells and droughts in the Northern Hemisphere.

This initiative brings together academics and scientists from all over the world to build an accurate model.

In their inspiring video, the World Meteorological Organisation explains why Polar climate change is an important issue for the entire world.

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Two Great Products, Two Great Brands

Allbirds

Traditional footwear companies often use  cheap and synthetic material to produce its products.

Allbirds shows us that we don’t have to sacrifice style for sustainability by keeping its products eco-friendly. It is redesigning the common sneaker by using New Zealand’s superfine merino wool and castor bean oil, a natural substitute for plastic and rubber. These two materials are not only  sustainable, but they also have a carbon footprint that is 60 percent smaller than a typical synthetic shoe.

Allbirds is a certified B Corporation, and its wool is ZQ certified for animal welfare and environmental care.

ToastAle

Another innovator to watch is Toast Ale, a company that makes beer with surplus bread from bakeries that would otherwise have ended up as waste. According to its  Indiegogo campaign, “each beer bought will help realize [its] goal of diverting 100 tons of bread from landfill in 3 years.” Founded in London, selling English Ale with alt and citrus notes, it is now in the process of producing an American Pale Ale in New York City.  

100% of the profits go to Feedback, a non-profit aiming to reduce food waste through research and innovation.

We will toast to that!

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New Plastics Economy

The New Plastics Economy Report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, outlines a blueprint for a more environmentally friendly plastics system. The report recognizes the plastic industry as the most representative of the current linear model of “make, take and dispose” and aims to disrupt the industry through innovation.

Currently, only 14% of plastic is collected for recycling globally, the rest of it is either incinerated, landfilled or ends up as litter, often in the ocean.

If we continue on this route, by 2050 oceans would contain more plastics than fish (in weight).

The report is not calling for an end to plastics. It is providing a new way of thinking about plastics as an effective global material flow that is aligned with the principals of the circular economy.

The report outlines three strategies and a set of actions needed by the industry to move towards a new plastics economy.

  1. Redesign and Innovation

  2. Reuse

  3. Recycle

By redesigning, reusing and recycling plastic material, the industry will be able to make the transition towards the circular economy.

Download The New Plastics Economy report.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqeulFxqT1Y

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Debunking Common Myths

  1. Myth: Landfill gas capture recovery systems are an effective way to address methane emissions from landfills.

    1. Fact: Landfill gas capture systems do a poor job of recovering methane emissions.

  2. Myth: Wet landfills or “bioreactor” designs will improve landfill gas capture rates and help reduce methane emissions from landfills.

    1. Fact: Wet landfills are schemes to speed methane generation, but because lifetime gas capture efficiency rates may approximate 20%, actual methane emissions may be greater with the reactor design than without.

  3. Myth: Landfills and incinerators are sources of renewable energy.

    1. Fact: Landfills and incinerators waste valuable resources and are not generators of “renewable” energy. They inefficiently capture a small amount of energy by destroying many the Earth’s diminishing resources that could be conserved, reused, or recycled.

  4. Myth: Subsidizing landfill gas capture recovery systems through renewable portfolio standards, alternative fuels mandates, and green power incentives is good for the climate.

    1. Fact: Subsidies to landfills encourage waste disposal at the expense of waste reduction and materials recovery options that are far better for the climate.

  5. Myth: Incinerators are tremendously valuable contributors in the fight against global warming. For every megawatt of electricity generated through the combustion of solid waste, a megawatt of electricity from coal-fired or oil-fired power plants is avoided, creating a net savings of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

    1. Fact: Incinerators increase — not reduce — greenhouse gas emissions. Municipal solid waste incinerators produce more carbon dioxide per unit of electricity generated than either coal-fired or oil-fired power plants.

*Taken from Stop Trashing the Climate

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Climate Change Refugees

When we think of refugees, we often think of people displaced from their homes because of war or unstable governments.

But, another refugee is starting to emerge: climate change refugees. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make it on the front page of major news outlets.

The small indigenous village of Kivalina is experiencing the devastating effects from climate change. This village sits on the western coast of Alaska away from big cities, coal plants and factories, but it is estimated that in less than a decade this island will disappear.

Although this is a remote village, the same can occur to some of the big cities like Miami and Beijing as the ocean levels keep rising.

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Carbon is Not the Enemy

William McDonough wants to redefine the carbon language. In his article for Nature Journal, McDonough states humans have made carbon a toxin. He has a point. In the right place, carbon is a resource and a tool.

McDonough describes 3 types of carbon: Fugitive, Durable and Living.  

Fugitive Carbon is a toxin to our planet and our health. It is the result of unsustainable human activity such as fossil fuel production, landfills, and ‘waste-to-energy’ plants. The carbon mankind release into the atmosphere needs to be captured and turned into a durable or living carbon.

Durable Carbon is a resource. It is a carbon that is locked in stable solids. For example, a plastic bottle that is manufactured and then recycled sequesters the carbon.  On the other hand, if the same plastic bottle ends up in the ocean, the carbon becomes a fugitive, a toxin to our oceans.

Living Carbon is source. Carbon is the critical ingredient to the biological cycle. It is organic and needed for healthy and fertile soils. McDonough states. ‘carbon in the atmosphere is a liability,’ McDonough states, ‘but in the soil, it’ an asset.’

To tackle climate change, we need to rethink carbon.

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Impossible Foods

Food production accounts for as much global greenhouse gas emissions as all forms of transport combined.

We can’t tackle climate change without addressing what we eat.

That’s why, the team at Impossible Foods spent the last 5 years developing a plant based patty that bleeds, sizzles and tastes like any other hamburger.

The Impossible Burger uses about 75% less water, generates about 87% fewer greenhouse gases and requires around 95% less land than conventional ground beef from cows. It's produced without hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol or artificial flavors.

Reduce your carbon footprint without compromising taste by eating an Impossible Burger instead of a regular beef burger.

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