Produced by everything from cattle and swamps to humans, methane is the second biggest contributor to the world's greenhouse gas emissions after carbon dioxide.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency describes the comparative effect of methane on climate change as being "pound for pound… over 20 times greater than CO2 over a 100 year period."
But what if methane could be turned into something that's useful and in constant demand? At California based Newlight Technologies, they think they've found the answer.
The company has spent a decade researching and developing a technique that its website says can, "produce high-performance thermoplastics from air and methane emissions."
Newlight believes that the plastics it produces are competitively priced and offer the same performance as oil-based plastics.
How then, does Newlight's technology work, and how could it help the environment?
"We take methane, we combine it with air, and we have a bio catalyst that brings those two things together and turns it into a plastic molecule," Mark Herrema, Co-founder and CEO of Newlight Technologies, told CNBC's Sustainable Energy.