Today's Earth Day, and here's a bit of good news for the planet. Keter, one of the world's largest producers of resin-based outdoor furniture (they sell in over 90 countries and have 21 factories worldwide), is going to start making their products out of garbage.
Not in its garbage form, of course. Keter has inked a deal with UBQ Materials, the innovative company that's figured out how to turn otherwise worthless household waste--dirty diapers, soiled cardboard, rotten food, etc.--into injection-moldable and recyclable thermoplastic. In just a few years, UBQ has already racked up McDonald's and Mercedes-Benz as customers.
As part of their sustainability initiatives, Keter has set the goal of using 55 percent recycled content in their products within the next five years. UBQ's material fits the bill as it not only uses no virgin plastic, but is sturdy and affordable. ""To reach our climate goals, we are going far beyond the classic recycling method by incorporating climate-positive UBQ™," Iftach Sachar, Keter's Managing Director of Global Sustainability, Marketing and Innovation, said in a release. "This partnership will allow us to differentiate ourselves in the market, bringing a new level of sustainability to consumers and retailers without compromising on quality or competitive pricing of our products."
Tato Bigio, co-founder and CEO of UBQ, points out that it's not just their science that's sound: The company has figured out how to scale it and, most importantly, make it affordable. This gives them a leg up on conventional recyclers. ""Innovation aimed to halt climate change exists and is readily available, but its ability to impact is dependent on the adoption and implementation across industries," Bigio said. "Continuing to deplete our natural resources is not an option, it is frankly no longer economically or environmentally viable. Through our partnership with Keter, we hope to set an example for industries to recognize sustainable manufacturing as a simple, cost-effective and necessary choice."
To meet the demand, UBQ is setting up a production facility in the Netherlands with an annual output capacity of 72,000 tons. A third of production has already been reserved for Keter, so with any luck we'll see the products soon.