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




Prince William and Kate Middleton greeted celebrities and award-winners in Boston.Angela Weiss/Getty Images
Prince William and Kate Middleton greeted celebrities and award-winners in Boston.Angela Weiss/Getty Images  
  • 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.

  • The climate startup has also produced an edible bubble that can hold liquids called the "Ooho."

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

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

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

Notpla was founded in a London kitchen by university students Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier in 2014.

The pair's first product was the "Ooho" - an "edible bubble" designed to hold liquids. According to its 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.

An employee poses for a photograph with an edible bubble "Ooho" at Notpla in Hackney, east London
An employee poses for a photograph with an edible bubble "Ooho" at Notpla in Hackney, east London  

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

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

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

The five Earthshot Prize winners were selected from a shortlist of 15 finalists by a panel featuring actress Cate Blanchett, singer Shakira, naturalist David Attenborough, and Prince William.

"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."

Notpla
Notpla's laboratory is based in Hackney, in London.Justin Tallis/Getty Images  

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

Notpla co-founder Pierre 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," he continued.

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