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M&G’s Catalyst strategy invests alongside TPG’s global impact investing platform, founded by U2’s Bono and philanthropist Jeff Skoll

M&G announces it has become the latest investor into UBQ Materials, developer of the leading climate-positive thermoplastic material on the market, as the firm raises $170 million in its latest funding round.

The Israeli headquartered company, founded in 2012, spent seven years developing their patented conversion process which takes unsorted household waste, including all organics, and turns it into thermoplastic. UBQ Materials’ customers include Mercedes-Benz, global retail solutions provider Mainetti and Arcos Dorados, the world’s largest franchisee of McDonald’s restaurants across Latin America.

The latest financing round will enable the company to extend its current capacity by establishing large-scale, industrial plants with additional production lines. The first of the new facilities will be in the Netherlands and is on track to be operational by the end of 2022.

The investment has been made by M&G’s Catalyst strategy, which is investing up to £5 billion into privately-owned businesses where capital is required to drive innovation and impact to create a more sustainable world. Last month, the team invested in Plastic Energy, a European chemical recycling technology firm converting end-of-life plastic into a resource (TACOIL) for making virgin-quality recycled plastics.

Jack (Tato) Bigio, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of UBQ Materials, says: “Waste is not the end, it is only the beginning. This financing round enables us to widen the reach of our patented conversion technology and novel material, bringing us closer to a functioning circular economy worldwide.”

Alex Seddon, Head of M&G’s Catalyst team, comments: “Supporting the circular economy is a central theme in our sustainable investment strategy. With two billion tons of waste being produced globally each year, landfill is responsible for around 8 per cent of our total carbon emissions and without urgent action, it will continue to pollute and destroy our natural environment. We can’t live with or without generating waste and we need to address the challenge through innovation and technology, as UBQ Materials is doing. This is an important driver of the circular economy and, importantly, will keep more waste away from landfill.”

Albert Douer, Chairman and Co-CEO of UBQ Materials, says: “As countries and industries converged in Glasgow at COP26, negotiating the urgent benchmarks we must hit in lowering Greenhouse Gas emissions, this investment could not come at a more apt time. Through the prevention of landfill-related methane emissions and the replacement of carbon intensive raw materials, UBQ can support governments, brands and major manufacturers in achieving their sustainable development goals.”

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