The Prince of Wales visits the 2022 Earthshot Prize Winner, Notpla
The Prince of Wales has visited Earthshot Prize winner and sustainable packaging start-up, Notpla, to see how the business has scaled up its production since winning the Prize last November.
The London-based start-up won the 2022 Earthshot Prize in the ‘Build a Waste-Free World’ category, with its plastic-free consumer packaging products made from seaweed and plants. Among their innovations, they replace plastic-lined takeaway boxes, two billion of which are used every year in Europe, and other disposable plastic items such as cutlery.
Since winning the Prize, the business has seen its visibility and commercial traction grow substantially, opening doors to new partnerships with businesses including Just Eat Takeaway.com and Bidfood. Notpla Paper, a paper made from seaweed, is also benefiting from a partnership with international paper distributor, G. F. Smith.
Earlier this month, Notpla hydrated runners at one of the biggest half marathons in the world - Göteborgsvarvet in Sweden through its plastic-free edible bubble. The team is also in conversation with various potential sporting partners to bring their sustainable packaging to stadiums across the UK. As well as many new commercial opportunities, the funding from The Earthshot Prize has allowed the Notpla team to grow by ten people and allow the business to invest in new machinery for research and development.
During the visit, His Royal Highness was taken on a tour of the headquarters with Notpla co-founders Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier, where he viewed a showcase of Notpla’s product portfolio and see the important role the business plays in minimising the use of single-use plastics.
To date, Notpla has replaced almost 3 million units of single-use plastic from entering the environment. Following this, The Prince will visit the in-house Laboratory and get involved in creating ‘Notpla Rigid material’, created with what is left over from the seaweed production, enabling a new circular way of using the entire seaweed. ‘Notpla Rigid’ is used in many products, from luxury packaging boxes to disposable cutlery.
From the Laboratory, The Prince visited Production area to see firsthand how different Notpla products are made, including seeing the first prototype of new Notpla takeaway boxes which are branded with the Earthshot Prize logo. The boxes will go into production in June this year.
The Earthshot Prize
Incubated within The Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales and launched by Prince William in 2020, The Earthshot Prize searches for extraordinary solutions to the world’s greatest environmental challenges. The Earthshot Prize is based on five ‘Earthshot’ goals: Protect and restore nature; Fix our climate; Clean our air; Revive our oceans; Build a waste free world. The 2023 Earthshot Prize Awards will take place in Singapore on Tuesday 7 November.