I’m Kate Stewart, Founder, Managing Director of Stay Tray and mother to two beautiful young kids. Like many parents, I want the planet to be a better place for our kids. But where do you start?
Stay tray is a super small, environmentally friendly business based on the Mornington Peninsula about an hour from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
The Stay tray idea was sparked one day late 2017. I witnessed friends and workmates carrying their reusable coffee cups in disposable cardboard trays. It was painfully ironic, reusable coffee cups being carried in trays that got discarded at the end of each coffee run. The best case was that the cardboard trays be recycled and would still consume energy and water in the recycling process. At worst the cardboard trays would contribute to the 30% of paper waste not recycled and ends up in landfill each year.
What if we didn’t need cardboard trays anymore. Just like the reusable coffee cups, we could have reusable carry trays for our coffee as well?
It’s crazy when I think back on it. In 2017 I was commuting 3 hours each day Monday to Friday for my corporate job in Melbourne. I would leave at 5:00am and get home at 6:30pm at the earliest. During the week, the best I could hope for was to be home in time to put my kids to bed. The weekends were great, but it just wasn’t enough quality family time. I was determined to make a change.
What if I could spend more time with my kids and make a positive difference for the environment too?
I left my secure corporate role of 17 years in the pursuit of something more fulfilling and more meaningful, something that would literally make a difference to people and the planet. Stay tray was born.
Stay tray is made to be used everyday. We believe that when it comes to environmental sustainability, the little bit we do everyday matters. Because we are doing it together.
Stay tray was designed to reduce single use consumption of disposable plastic and cardboard trays.
There simply wasn’t a sustainable, versatile solution to be found, and therefore those individuals who were responsible / sustainably minded, were using their disposable options again and again. Stay tray not only intended to solve the single use problem, but it needed to be a great alternative, one that would compliment the reusable movement and encourage a behavioural shift.
Our mission is to encourage the use of reusable drink carriers. We deliver sustainable products that challenge the culture of single use.
Stay Tray Awards
Kate is extremely proud to have received Australian Made Certification in October 2018. This means that Stay tray is officially recognized as an Australian Made and Manufactured product. Kate has worked really hard to achieve this. When the business first started out a conscious decision was made to support local Australian business and manufacture a great product right here in Australia.
In fact, all design, engineering and manufacture has been kept within a 60km radius of Stay Tray’s home on the Mornington Peninsula.
It would have been half the price to engineer and manufacture overseas. However it was extremely important for the Stay Tray to support the incredibly talented designers, engineers and manufacturers right here in Australia.
In 2019, Stay tray was awarded Silver in the Packaging Innovation and Design Awards hosted by the Australianasian Institute of Packaging. Kate also developed and ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign to help raise funds to further expand Stay tray and design and manufacture a 2 Cup Stay tray right here in Australia.
In 2020, Stay Tray was awarded Winner in the Beverage Category of the WorldStar Packaging Awards in Germany.
In 2020, Stay tray also received B Corp Certification. This means that Stay tray meets the highest standards of social and environmental impact. At Stay tray, we understand that we are a part of something bigger. We have a responsibility to help solve the social and environmental challenges facing the world.
B Corporations represent an emerging group of businesses that are dedicated to using the power of business to create a positive impact on the world, not competing to be the best in the world but rather, to be the best for the world.
The last three years have been a roller coaster of highs and lows, late nights and more work than I thought was humanly possible to be done in 3 years. Even though it's been a tough slog I wouldn’t have it any other way!