Earthshot Prize 2022: Notpla wants to solve beauty’s plastic packaging problem

by | Dec 5, 2022

Over the weekend, Prince William revealed the winners of the Earthshot Prize 2022. Out of 15 finalists, five sustainability innovators came out on top

The Earthshot Prize Council, The Royal Foundation and Prince William descended on Boston to reveal the five innovative winners of this year’s Earthshot Prize over the weekend. After nine-months of planning, judging and auditing of more than 1000 sustainability initiatives, the final five are set to help us ‘clean-up’ the Earth by 2030.

The 2022 winners are:

  • Clean our AirMukuru Clean Stoves, Kenya – A start-up providing cleaner-burning stoves to women in Kenya to reduce unhealthy indoor pollution and provide a safer way to cook.
  • Protect and Restore NatureKheyti, India – A pioneering solution for local smallholder farmers to reduce costs, increase yields and protect livelihoods in a country on the frontlines of climate change.
  • Revive our OceansIndigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia – An inspiring women led program that combines 60,000 years of indigenous knowledge with digital technologies to protect land and sea.
  • Build a Waste-free WorldNotpla, United Kingdom – A circular solution creating an alternative to plastic packaging from seaweed.
  • Fix our Climate44.01, Oman – Created by childhood friends who have developed an innovative technique to turn CO2 into rock, and permanently store it underground.

At the ceremony, Prince William said: ‘I believe that the Earthshot solutions you have seen this evening prove we can overcome our planet’s greatest challenges. And by supporting and scaling them we can change our future. Alongside tonight’s winners and finalists, and those to be discovered over the years to come, it’s my hope the Earthshot legacy will continue to grow, helping our communities and our planet to thrive.’

From clean air solutions to sustainable farming initiatives, each award-winning product and programme will change the sustainability landscape. However, Notpla is the winner that’s undoubtedly going to touch the beauty industry the most – here’s how…

Notpla is an alternative to plastic made from seaweed and plants that is designed with the aim of ‘making packaging disappear’. Thought-up by London-based duo Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, the innovation is entirely biodegradable material that morphs into plastic containers, paper and bubble-wrap.

The £1 million Earthshot prize money is set to propel the brand far from the Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art student kitchens it was founded in. The solution has already been used on over one million JustEat takeaway boxes. Now, the team is looking to expand into the fashion and beauty industry.

Not only is the material great for the planet at end-of-life, it is formed from one of the Earth’s most renewable resources. Seaweed captures carbon twenty-times faster than trees, addressing one of the key causes of the climate crisis and it deacidifys the sea.

On the innovation, Pierre Paslier says: ‘Fourteen million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year. We founded Notpla when we discovered the solution lies in our oceans too. We are already replacing plastic that plagues our seas, and working with seaweed farms that give back to the environment and the local economy. Thank you for recognising us as we take our next big step and eliminate single-use plastic for good!’

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