Analysis and Commentary

A vision where innovative Australian-made displaces plastic – by Julia Kay

Analysis and Commentary

An architect by profession, Julia Kay and husband Jordy have grown from a standing start to be Australia’s only manufacturer of compostable stretch wrap, first for consumer and soon for industrial uses. @AuManufacturing asked her to tell her story, in her own words.

There was a materials revolution happening around us.

Everything was changing rapidly; energy, transport and agriculture, yet plastic stayed the same. Here at Great Wrap we knew the technology existed to put an end to plastic waste – but there weren’t any products available on the market for us to use.

That’s when Great Wrap was born.

We invented the products we knew the world was missing so we can dump plastic once and for all.

At Great Wrap, we are driven by impact, fuelled by demand and have a 10 year vision for a world where plastic doesn’t exist.

Since our launch, Great Wrap has gone through significant growth and has now established two manufacturing facilities in Victoria, one on the Mornington Peninsula and one in Tullamarine.

We manufacture compostable cling wrap from potato waste and a mix of other compostable biopolymers for homes and businesses, and we’ll soon be launching our compostable pallet wrap.

We’re on a mission to remove the 150,000 tonnes of plastic stretch wrap sent to Australia’s landfill each year.

We started with just my partner Jordy and I, and now there are more than 30 of us on the team. By this time next year we hope to have more than 100.

Both Jordy and I were both using a lot of pallet wrap in our respective industries.

In architecture I would spend a lot of time looking for the most sustainable materials only for them to arrive on site wrapped in pallet wrap made from petroleum based plastic, and it was the same for Jordy.

One day we were sitting on a beach and asked ourselves if we weren’t operating in our industries would they be any different without us.

The answer felt like a no which was when we really decided to do something more meaningful for the planet and for ourselves.

We both love spending time in the ocean, so the plastic waste problem felt like a natural fit to tackle.

The scale of the plastic problem across the globe is frightening and, and because so many others feel the same way, we find ourselves working hard to keep up with the demand.

In the last two years with the support of local investors we’ve been able to become the only Australian manufacturer of compostable stretch wrap.

In the coming year, we hope to see and reach a future where petroleum based plastic does not exist.

We want to see more businesses manufacturing innovative products locally to minimise their footprint and we want to see more government support for small businesses.

Our recent government grant is an affirmation for the way the world is heading and it’s so great to see – the future is bright.

(in February Great Wrap’s parent company Plantabl received $534,760 towards a $6.41 million project to expand production capacity.) to commercialise and manufacture Great Wrap

We’re now seeing not only a shift in consumer choices, but also in businesses and careers, and it seems to be catching on with more Australian businesses opting to manufacture locally to tackle environmental issues.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of reimagining a better future for everyone, when it’s most needed.

Julia Kay has a bachelor’s degree in environmental design and a Master’s degree in Architecture, both from the University of Western Australia. She is co-founder and co-CEO of Great Wrap.

Picture: Julia Kay

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