Great Wrap raises $5m as Opal Packaging locks in distribution deal for its compostable pallet wrap

Great Wrap raises $5m as Opal Packaging locks in distribution deal for its compostable pallet wrap

Great Wrap founders Julia and Jordy Kay

In tandem with a $5 million capital raise that has secured the support of Belarusian professional tennis player Aryna Sabalenka, sustainable plastics producer Great Wrap has partnered with cardboard packaging giant Opal in a national distribution deal for the startup’s newly launched compostable plastic pallet wrap.

Great Wrap, founded by Julia and Jordy Kay in 2019 on a mission to end the world's reliance on petroleum-based plastic packaging, will use the latest funding round to accelerate growth and support further research and development.

US venture capitalist RCV Partners has joined Sabalenka as new investors in Great Wrap, with the latest round also attracting support from existing investors Barrel Ventures, Platinum Mile, Thomas Food International boss Darren Thomas, Giant Leap and Startmate.

The Melbourne-based Great Wrap manufactures compostable stretch wrap from food waste with its product range comprising compostable cling wrap, catering wrap and pallet wraps.

The company officially launched its pallet wrap last year and the agreement announced today with Opal will see the packaging and recycling giant exclusively offer the only Australian-made compostable machine pallet wrap to its business customers in Australia and New Zealand.

The product will be added to the Opal Packaging Plus division’s range of 15,000 products and it will be the first compostable stretch wrap in the range.

Great Wrap is aiming to produce 5,000 tonnes of certified compostable machine pallet wrap in 2024 to be distributed through the Opal network.

“Our machine pallet wrap stands out because it’s fully compostable, capable of a 250 per cent pre-stretch, operates smoothly on high-speed lines, and maintains high tension for ultimate reliability,” says Jordy Kay.

“Our wrap is denser and stronger than traditional wrap, meaning our customers can reduce their wrap thickness to achieve the same results as they would with traditional wrap.”

Great Wrap aims to leverage its growth in the market through targets set by the federal government and Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation to make all packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and to have 70 per cent of plastic packaging be recycled or composted by 2026. 

“Globally, people have been trying to recycle plastic packaging for 50 years, but only 9 per cent of our recycled materials go through the recycling system,” says Julia Kay.

She notes that while the infrastructure isn’t perfect, this emphasises “the need to diversify and explore more end-of-life options, such as commercial composting, so we aren’t reliant on one waste stream”.

Opal’s executive general manager for packaging, Chris Daly, says the distribution agreement with Great Wrap provides the group with a key advantage in being able to offer customers “integrated and innovative products”.

“We’re excited to include Great Wrap’s certified compostable machine pallet wrap within Opal Packaging Plus’ extensive range of products,” he says.

Great Wrap, which has manufacturing facilities on the Mornington Peninsula and at Tullamarine, is also working towards building a biorefinery to produce a marine-degradable material called PHA which is said to be the bioplastics of the future.

The latest capital raise follows a $24 million Series A in 2022 to help establish the biorefinery.

Great Wrap is made from potato waste and other compostable biopolymers, which perform the same function as conventional plastic but will break down in under 180 days – making it home compostable.

Later this year, the company says it is planning to deliver a compostable hand pallet wrap to the market to be exclusively distributed through Opal Packaging Plus.

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