scorecardPrince William gave a $1.2 million Earthshot prize to a startup that makes edible packaging from seaweed
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Prince William gave a $1.2 million Earthshot prize to a startup that makes edible packaging from seaweed

Stephanie Stacey   

Prince William gave a $1.2 million Earthshot prize to a startup that makes edible packaging from seaweed
Tech2 min read
  • Prince William awarded five Earthshot Prizes of $1.2 million on Friday to fund climate innovation.
  • Notpla, one of this year's winners, uses seaweed to produce "naturally biodegradable" packaging.

Prince William awarded Notpla, a startup that makes sustainable plastic-like packaging out of seaweed, was awarded one of the annual Earthshot Prizes on Friday.

The prestigious Earthshot Prizes were awarded on Friday in Boston. Each winner will receive £1 million, or about $1.2 million, to develop their climate innovations.

The star-studded ceremony, which Prince William and Kate Middleton hosted, had various celebrities in attendance including Billie Eilish, Ellie Goulding, Annie Lennox, Rami Malek, Catherine O'Hara, and David Beckham.

In 2014, Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier, two university students, founded Notpla in a London kitchen.

The pair's first product was the "Ooho" — an "edible bubble" designed to hold liquids. According to Notpla's website, the startup aims to combat plastic waste by producing "naturally biodegradable and home-compostable" packaging.

According to the startup's website, Nopla partnered with the sports-drink brand Lucozade during the 2019 London Marathon. The partnership replaced single-use plastic cups and bottles with 36,000 "Ooho" capsules to keep athletes hydrated without excessive plastic waste.

Notpla has since created a water-resistant coating for take-out boxes, paper, and film, as well as a rigid plastic alternative, all made using seaweed.

The company made more than a million take-out boxes for the delivery platform JustEat in 2022, BBC News reported.

Prince William and Sir David Attenborough launched the Earthshot Prizes in 2020. The name is a reference to President John F. Kennedy's "Moonshot" ambition to get a man on the moon within a decade.

A panel featuring the actor Cate Blanchett, the singer Shakira, the naturalist David Attenborough, and Prince William selected the five winners from a shortlist of 15 finalists.

"I believe that the Earthshot solutions you have seen this evening prove we can overcome our planet's greatest challenges," Prince William told attendees of the award ceremony according to BBC News.

"By supporting and scaling them, we can change our future."

Plastic pollution has a devastating impact worldwide — killing animals, disrupting ecosystems, and damaging people's livelihoods, food sources, and social welfare.

Paslier told the BBC, "When Rodrigo and I started Notpla eight years ago in our student kitchen, we would have never imagined we would be here today."

"No one wants to live in a world full of plastic waste, but it's not too late to act. There's never been a greater time to use natural solutions to solve the plastic challenge."




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