Turning Trash into Treasure: Israel starts recycling program to cut emissions
Garbage. It's a leading cause of global warming. So when China announced a ban on waste imports last January, the world was forced to "re-think" recycle and trash treatment policies. One waste conversion company in Israel says it has a solution. Make trash valuable. CGTN's Stephanie Freid has this story.
Landfills, decomposing rubbish makes them breeding grounds for methane - a greenhouse gas more toxic than carbon dioxide. Recycling is one obvious solution to cutting emissions - but some environmentalists say that out of 2 billion tons of global garbage produced each year, only about 2% is truly recycled. At UBQ in southern Israel's Negev Desert, the plan is to change that via a "zero waste approach."
CHRISTOPHER SVEEN CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER, UBQ "We're taking something that pollutes our environment - the waste that's polluting and clogging our natural environment - and turning it into commercial and infrastructural products that can actually protect the environment."
UBQ does that by taking landfill waste, breaking it down and re-purposing it into bio-based polymers.
STEPHANIE FREID SOUTHERN ISRAEL "At this stage the trash is a pulpy consistency. It's then sifted down to remove metal and glass. The next stage - well I can't really show you that because that's where the magic happens. And the magic is what produces this from this."
UBQ patented pellets are used to produce bio-plastic products like the ones you see here. The circular system appeals to China where an aggressive government anti-pollution campaign showed a 54% drop in air pollution last year in Beijing alone.
JACK "TATO" BIGIO CEO, UBQ "They see the potential of this technology to be a game changer in China, in China's economy, in China's way of treating waste, in China's dream of having a cleaner environment."
Company officials say that for every ton of UBQ material produced, an equivalent 15 tons of toxic greenhouse gases are reduced. UBQ higher ups will be in China next month to talk business. STEPHANIE FREID, CGTN, ISRAEL.