Australian manufacturer chips in on US stretch film market

Great Wrap aims to open a micro plant in California followed by a scale-up facility in the Pacific Northwest.

“D2C expansion and trials with pallet wrap partners will be covered by this round [of venture capital funding]. We will look for further non-dilutive capital to expand with a physical factory in the U.S,” Ryan said.

Expansion in Australia includes machinery and equipment for a 129,167-square-foot factory in Tullamarine, in the state of Victoria, which also will house a biorefinery by the end of 2023, “enabling us to process local food waste” from Australian-based farmers, Ryan said.

Great Wrap has another facility at Tyabb, south of Victoria’s capital Melbourne.

Great Wrap will “soon” launch pallet wrap, followed by commercial catering wrap to the Australian market. Pre-orders for pallet wrap are available online. “We also plan to expand into the wholesale market later this year,” Ryan told Plastics News.

The potato skins, currently sourced from Idaho potato growers, are used to create a bioplastic that is then extruded into shrink wrap.

The idea was developed after Julia Kay, who worked in architecture, and her husband Jordy, a winemaker, lamented the amount of pallet shrink wrap discarded in both the building industry and wine production and distribution.

The duo partnered with researchers at Melbourne-based Monash University to refine the methodology to convert potato waste starch into polyhydroxyalkanoates used to create the film.

Ryan said the Kays “saw an opportunity with the increased demand for processed potato foods and, unfortunately, an increase in food waste. Typically, potato waste is fed to cattle or left in a paddock to rot, resulting in unwanted methane emissions.”

Initially the pair “had some stretch wrap contract manufactured, then posted it on their personal Instagram accounts and it sold out within hours.”

The couple then started manufacturing film themselves “to ensure we could give customers the best products possible without making any sacrifices on quality and scalability.”

Once Great Wrap conquers the U.S. market, Ryan said Europe is the next target.

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