It’s a familiar, yet still astonishing story: MB&A (Michael Biddle & Assoc., now MBA Polymers) began in founder Dr. Mike Biddle’s garage in 1992, with his determination to prove that it was possible to recycle plastics from complex waste streams. Promising results soon moved the venture to a large scale pilot facility in Berkeley, California, and in 1997 to a small-scale production facility in Richmond, California, where plastics from a wide variety of commingled waste streams from all over the world were successfully recycled. Experience, technology, and capabilities grew right along with life-changing ideas.
Fast-forward through a few years of tireless determination and well-placed investments, and MBA Polymers has become the world leader in recycling plastics from end-of-life durable goods such as computers, electronics, appliances, and autos. The firm’s headquarters and research facility remains in Richmond, California, but production facilities have expanded internationally, mining plastics from some of the largest, plastics-rich waste streams in the world. Our state-of-the-art plants in Guangzhou, China and Kematen an der Ybbs, Austria have been operating since 2006, focusing on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). And in the final months of 2010, we expanded to Worksop, UK, where our joint venture with the largest metal recycler in the British Isles and one of the largest in the world (EMR) produces post-consumer plastics from automotive shredder residue vs. recycling from ELV, appliances and electronics.
Our facilities represent the four most advanced plastics recycling facilities on the planet today—they’re the first four of our many additional plants to come.
Closing the Loop in High Value Plastics
Our proprietary processes require less than 20% of the energy needed to produce virgin from petrochemicals, saving enormous amounts of greenhouse gases. Major global manufacturers then use our plastics to create more sustainable products for their customers, while committing to a more responsible supply chain. This “closed loop” supply cycle is taking our world in a direction that can sustain manufacturing and consumption while also protecting our limited natural resources.
Of the approximately 250 billion kgs (550 billion pounds) of plastic used annually on a global basis, less than 10% of these plastics from complex waste streams such as durable goods are currently recycled. In comparison, over 90% of the metals, such as steel, copper and aluminum, are recycled from these same complex waste streams. Why then are plastics—far more valuable than steel on a cost per weight basis—so undervalued as recovered materials? MBA Polymers is changing the way the world sees recycled plastic, creating a highly valuable commodity while it provides a significant economic benefit—all in a sustainable way.
Our work has been honored with multiple awards, including the Tech Museum Intel Tech Laureate Award (2006), the Thomas Alva Edison Award for Innovation (2002), and the World Economic Tech Pioneer Award (2006). We were named a Global 100 CleanTech company two years in a row (2009 and 2010), and have been honored through DOE’s NICE3 Program and California's Cal-Tip program. We've also won a prestigious DOC NIST ATP grant, the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in 1998, and were named one of America's Most Innovative Companies by Inc. Magazine's Innovation Series, and receiving the Economist's Innovation Award in 2010.
Our most recent awards and recognitions include the Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development and the GoingGreen 'Company of the year 2012' - Additionally, SHFT.com released an exciting 3 minute documentary video on MBA Polymers as one of the 10 innovators leading important change around the world.