Australian couple win $ 80,000 Amazon grant with Great Wrap – world’s first biodegradable cling film
A Victorian couple won an $ 80,000 Amazon scholarship after the launch of the world’s first biodegradable household wrap.
Jordy and Julia Kay are the founders of Great Wrap, a compostable alternative to cling film designed to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in both businesses and households.
The couple have been working on the business for 18 months, releasing the world’s first compostable pallet wrap in March, before getting started to release a cling film that families can use while in a locked room amid COVID -19.
Great Wrap is one of five small and medium businesses to each receive more than $ 80,000 in grants from Amazon Launchpad, including a cash grant of $ 20,000, access to mentors and entrepreneurial experts, and marketing support.
The 29-year-old winemaker and the 28-year-old architect were fed up with the amount of plastic used in packaging and pledged to work together to change something.
Jordy and Julia Kay (pictured together) created the world’s first compostable cling film
Great Wrap (shown) is an alternative to cling film designed to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used by businesses and households
“We both knew we wanted to solve an environmental problem and waited to find a cross-fertilization of our two industries,” Kay told Daily Mail Australia.
“We saw with building materials at every job site, no matter how much of the product there was, it was still packed in single-use plastic.
‘It was really shocking and once we noticed how much plastic we went through on a daily basis, we couldn’t see it anymore.’
The Albert Park couple noted that while compostable coffee cups and grocery bags entered the market, no one had looked at pallet wrap waste as a B2B issue.
They worked with several experts and PHD students before finding a manufacturer they could partner with to develop their unique product.
Great Wrap is primarily made from corn starch and other plant products and takes less than 180 days to break down in a compost bin.
The product effectively saves businesses and households alike, as less cling film is needed to cover food and other items.
In the short time their products have been on the market, the brand has prevented nearly 10,000 pounds of plastic from ending up in landfills.
Great Wrap is made from vegetable products and breaks down into compost in less than 180 days
Great Wrap produces a pallet film for companies and a smaller household film for households
Ms. Kay said the couple are constantly working on their formula in an effort to create a product that will be 100 percent plant-based and made partially from food waste.
“I hope we never get to a point where we don’t work on it,” she said. “I hope we can keep learning and constantly improve ourselves.”
Great Wrap’s stretch wrap was launched in March and created an incredible buzz as the coronavirus pandemic hit the country.
GREAT TIPS FROM THE FOUNDERS FOR STARTING A BUSINESS:
1 – Focus your attention on one idea. “We get excited about a lot of ideas, but it can get watered down,” Kay said. ‘Once we focused on one, we noticed things started to go well.’
2 – Listen to negative criticism. “I had to learn not to take negative criticism from peers, friends, or family to heart,” Kay said. “I’ve had a lot of people tell me” you’ve lost the plot, “but I’m glad we moved on.
3 – Try and improve all the time. “I hope we never get to a point where we aren’t working on our product,” said Kay.
4 – Knowing when to shut down. “We are married and it is very important to know when you are ready for the day,” said Mr. Kay. “You should be able to drink a knock-off beer on Friday and go.”
“We spent a lot of time sending products back and forth to perfect what we wanted, and then picked the worst time in the world to start a B2B business,” Kay said.
Week one was incredible. We had a lot of interest from different companies and sources and in week two everyone went into lockdown. ‘
The couple used the lockdown period to perfect their cling film and used the growing interest in their brand as a major motivation to get through uncertain times.
“We’ve spoken to everyone from households to large corporations around the world, from cosmetics companies, mining companies and supermarkets,” Kay said.
“It got to the point where we had to say,” Look, we’re not ready for you. ” These conversations can be daunting and make you feel like you’re out of the depths, but you learn pretty quickly. ‘
The couple have invested $ 50,000 of their own money in Great Wrap and are deep in the challenge of balancing their family life and other work commitments with the company.
The couple are very involved with the business and are excited to get further backing and support from the Amazon scholarship to make their dreams come true.
‘It is exciting to see that our compostable cling film, which started as an idea, is benefiting so many Australians and the environment, and with the help of the grant we can expand our production in Australia and develop more exciting products quickly . plastic from the landfill, ”Mrs. Kay said.
“It has been a difficult year, but we have been overwhelmed with positive confirmation from all over Australia and receiving this grant is really pushing us to keep working even harder.”
“It’s a huge boost,” Mr. Kay continued. “And the help of experts will be invaluable.”
The rapid growth of composting in Australia has made the Kay’s eager to become leaders in the field with Great Wrap
The couple will use the grant to spend on further production in Melbourne to fulfill customer orders and replenish their factory supplies.
Ms. Kay said the couple has strong confidence in their brand as consumers don’t need to change their lifestyle habits to make a lasting positive change.
“Our product allows Australians to feel less guilty about using cling film and doesn’t need to make drastic changes or reinvent their way of life to have a significant impact on the environment,” said Kay.
“What we love is that everyone uses it and says” oh, it’s just like regular cling film “and we’re like,” yeah, that’s the point. “
About 40 percent of Australian families compost from home and the rapid growth of composting services in the country has excited the Kay’s to become leaders in their field.
“The future of this space in Australia is very exciting,” said Kay. “We have seen many new things emerge that have the potential for Australia to become leaders in recycling and reusable technologies.”
‘It is a very healthy circular economy and we would like to be great advocates in this space.’
In the short time their products have been available, the brand has prevented nearly 10,000 pounds of plastic from ending up in landfills