Australian start-up Great Wrap has developed a certified home compostable plastic wrap alternative using food waste instead of oil-based derivatives, and has now set up shop in its new solar-powered facility in Melbourne.
Co-founded in 2020 by husband and wife duo Jordy and Julia Kay, Great Wrap aims to provide a fix for household waste challenges by diverting food waste from landfill and converting it into the main raw material for its wrap.
“I started as a winemaker, while Julia was an architect, and between the both of us, in our different industries, we were using a disgusting amount of pallet wrap in our operations,” Jordy Kay, co-founder of Great Wrap, tells PKN.
“We wanted to do more to solve this issue, so we launched about a year ago the world’s first certified compostable pallet wrap. And, due to Covid keeping everyone at home, we decided to fast-track our plans for a cling wrap for home range and launched that in July last year.
“Cling wrap is a convenient everyday essential that’s market has remained uninterrupted since the 1940s, and in Australia alone, we go through 150,000 tonnes of stretch wrap each year.
“By the end of 2021, we plan to turn a third of this figure into plant-based wrap, launch commercial kitchen and pallet wrap, and expand internationally.”
Husband and wife duo, Jordy and Julia Kay, aims to provide a solution for challenges faced with household waste.
Australian-made, the cling wrap is made mostly from potato waste, while the remaining materials are all certified compostable.
And, unlike biodegradable products that break down into microplastics, the company says its solution has the ability to break down into carbon and water when placed in a compost pile in less than 180 days.
“Our vision is to convert 300,000 tonnes of food waste into resin for Great Wrap by 2023, and have a formula that is marine biodegradable, meaning it will break down once it’s in the ocean,” adds Kay.
“We’re turning waste into opportunities and we really care about what we’re doing. Now, we are working towards making the raw materials ourselves, as we currently work with a company that extracts the starch and turns it into biopolymer for us to use.
“We are setting up the processes and facilities to do something similar here in Australia using agriculture food waste to convert into a marine biodegradable and compostable resin to use on one of our many wraps.”
The team is also currently working towards a 100 per cent food waste product by the end of 2021.
“Most other compostable soft plastic alternatives are still made from PBAT, which is a biopolymer derived from oil, while others use a percentage of starch, usually from corn, which requires quite intensive agriculture practices,” Kay explains.
“With our unique formula, that is not the case. We went with a waste product instead, something that potentially could have gone into a paddock to rot and release methane into the natural environment.
“We can instead capture all of that and convert it into our products. We are really trying to create a roadmap to get to the point where petroleum-based plastic will no longer exist in the supply chain in the form we know today.”
Great Wrap plans to manufacture both compostable cling wrap for homes and hospitality, as well as pallet wrap for businesses.
“Cling wrap and pallet wrap are the tip of the iceberg. There’s many other stretch wrap and films that we can see using our technology to create alternatives for,” says Kay.
“At the moment, our operation is pretty small, having the capacity to make around 120 tonnes of our cling wrap for homes range. But, we plan to invest in more extruders, which will bump up our annual production to a bit over 6000 tonnes.
“Moving forward, we want to continue to creating sustainable alternatives for things like sticky tape, bubble wrap, and everything else within the packaging arena.”
Great Wrap certified home compostable cling wrap rolls are now available to purchase online from the company website.
Direct to customer, wholesale and a subscription model are available with a RRP of $14.95 per 2 x 30m rolls.