Energy and the Environment award winner 2010
From this humble beginning, MBA Polymers has become the world leader at recycling plastics from end-of-life durable goods such as computers, electronics, appliances and automobiles. The company, with headquarters and research center in Richmond, California, recovers materials from a variety of highly commingled sources. The company has innovated by developing numerous proprietary processes for separating reusable polymeric materials from highly complex waste products and then separating and purifying the plastics further to a point where they can be re-used in demanding applications - replacing virgin plastics and "closing the loop". MBA's process requires less than 10% of the energy and saves enormous amounts of greenhouse gases compared to making plastics from petrochemicals. Major global manufacturers use MBA's plastics to create more sustainable products.
Using recycled plastic pellets as raw material could save plastics manufacturers large sums of money as well as significant amounts of energy used to produce virgin plastics.
MBA Polymers does not view itself as a plastics recycler but as a plastics provider. The company has designed, built and now operates state of the art production facilities in Guangzhou, China; Kematan, Austria and is opening its first plant in Britain on October 1, 2010. The privately held company has recovered more than 100 million pounds of plastic in just the last three years and is significantly expanding production capacity.
MBA Polymers can process several million pounds of plastic per month from its facilities in California, Guangzhou, China, and Kematan, Austria. The new facility in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England will have an annual recycling capacity of 60,000 tons per year, expanding to 80,000 tons per year.
While some 100 billion pounds of plastic are used annually in the United States, less than 5% of plastics from complex streams like end-of-life electronics, appliances and automobiles are recycled, compared to over 90% for steel and aluminum.
Michael and MBA Polymers have garnered many awards including the Thomas Alva Edison Award for Innovation in 2002, the Tech Pioneer Award from the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2006, the Tech Museum Intel Environmental Award in 2006, the Ball State University Ascent Award in 2006. The company was named one of the top 100 CleanTech companies in the World in 2009 and one of the top 5 CleanTech companies in Europe in 2009 by two different organizations that follow the CleanTech industry.