Arcos Dorados Holdings – the largest independent McDonald’s franchise in the world – is sharpening its environmental focus after forming an “unprecedented” partnership with a company that has developed a patented process for converting unsorted household waste into a plastic substitute that reduces carbon emissions.
The goal of the alliance with Israeli firm UBQ is to begin using this new environmentally-friendly material in some restaurants’ items starting in the first quarter of 2020.
“As leaders in our sector we have the responsibility of leveraging our large scale to contribute to caring for the environment and doing good for society. The partnership with UBQ is another step in our commitment to sustainability, as it allows us to replace materials within our operations with similar ones whose ultimate carbon emissions are zero,” said Gabriel Serber, director of social commitment and sustainable development for Arcos Dorados.
The initiative is in addition to a series of sustainability actions already implemented by Arcos Dorados and McDonald’s.
A year ago, the company suspended the proactive serving of straws and launched a customer awareness campaign to avoid straw use during meals.
At that time, the company promised to continue reducing the use of plastic in its restaurants.
UBQ’s innovative manufacturing process generates a zero or even a negative carbon emission balance, helping reduce global warming.
Each ton of UBQ material produced is the equivalent of the carbon emission reduction of 540 trees, according to the company.
Arcos Dorados remains committed to meeting the brand’s global goals under the ‘Scale for Good’ initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 36% by 2030, plus 20% throughout the supply chain within the same time period. In total, 11 million tons of CO2 will not reach the atmosphere, which is equivalent to planting three billion trees or taking 25 million cars off the road.
To produce this new thermoplastic material, UBQ breaks down unsorted household waste into its most basic natural components creates a new composite and environmentally-friendly material, through a process which does not use water or emit harmful fumes.
As a raw material, UBQ can be made into thousands of applications including bricks, shopping carts, pipes, trash cans, and automotive parts.