(FAST COMPANY) – If you eat at a McDonald’s restaurant in São Paulo, Brazil, your food will come on what looks like a typical plastic tray. But the material is actually made largely from food waste and other trash.
Arcos Dorados, the largest independent McDonald’s franchise in the world, which operates stores throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, is rolling out thousands of trays made from the material as it works to shrink its use of virgin plastic. The material, called UBQ, is unique in that it’s recycled from a mix of materials.
“UBQ’s process begins with unsorted household waste destined for landfills – banana peels, chicken bones, and other food leftovers; cardboard and paper; diapers and mixed plastics – everything besides glass and metal, which we remove and send out to recycle,” says Albert Douer, executive chairman of UBQ Materials, the Israel-based company that produces the material.
Advertisement - story continues below