NZ-made plastic alternative attracting huge interest overseas

Ryan Boswell
Source: 1News

A New Zealand-made alternative for plastic is attracting huge interest from overseas, with several products now on the market.

Keravos was developed by Christchurch-based inventor Logan Williams using a combination of strong wool and corn starch.

In May, he launched the world’s first woollen catamaran on Lyttelton Harbour for the first time, with 1News in tow.

“Just in this boat alone we're preventing 40kg of plastic being used - that’s 7000 plastic bags just in one boat,” said Williams.

Since then, the product has gone mainstream with investment from several companies who want to be eco-friendly.

Torpedo7 is making kayaks, while Victory Knives is using Keravos for its handles.

Shear Edge head of marketing and sales, Thomas Nye, said Covid-19 has been no deterrent to growing the business.

"We’re working with the furniture market, we’re working with some big international companies on cooler bins, we’re working on building materials, we’re working on irrigation for farming," said Nye.

"There are plenty of different industries that we can operate in."

Williams said while he was surrounded by talented and innovative people, he’s also had "really cool brands approach us to use our material as well".

Styx Solutions wants farmers to use its Keravos battens instead of wood on their fences.

Company director Darryn Ross said the battens interweave through the wire and there’s a tapered locking system which clips on to stop it moving.

He said the product can be recycled and it enables a multitude of wires to be electrified.

“We’ve sent product to the USA, Australia … interest in Canada,” said Ross.

Williams told 1News that while the product is slightly more expensive at the moment, it will come down in price.

"We’ve also seen our products get a premium as well for being sustainable with an edge," he said.