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

Source: Notpla/Youtube

Prince William awarded startup Notpla with one of the annual Earthshot Prizes last week, where each winner receives £1 million, or about $1.2 million, to develop their climate innovations.

Prince William and Kate Middleton hosted the event in Boston and various celebrities were in attendance, including Billie Eilish, Ellie Goulding, Annie Lennox, Rami Malek, Catherine O’Hara, and David Beckham.

Back in 2014, two university students founded Notpla in a London kitchen. Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier’s first product was the “Ooho” — an “edible bubble” that can hold liquids. Since then, the company has been working hard to combat plastic waste and produce “naturally biodegradable and home-compostable” packaging.

Source: Notpla/Youtube

In 2019, the company partnered with Lucozade, a sports-drink brand, to replace single-use plastic cups and bottles with 36,000 “Ooho” capsules to keep athletes hydrated. Since that massive milestone, the company has created a water-resistant coating for take-out boxes, paper, and film. Most recently, they have made a plastic alternative completely from seaweed.

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.”

Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled. Around 8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year! 700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, pollution, and ingestion. 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove,  Budweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland and many more are banning various single-use plastics and others that are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.

There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using  mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

To learn more about the impact of plastic waste, please read the articles below: 

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