Sunday, February 5News For London

Earthshot winner: How Notpla is saving the planet one takeaway box at a time

Image source: Wikipedia

The London-based-start-up that uses seaweed as an alternative to plastic was one of the recipients of Prince William’s Earthshot award and £1 million.

Founded in 2019 by Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier, Notpla is an innovative solution to help tackle the climate crisis through seaweed-based biodegradable packaging alternatives. 

The two co-founders, who began working together during a master’s program at Imperial College, were one of five winners of the Earthshot award in the category of Build a Waste-free World.

The goal of the Earthshot award, which was established in 2021 by Prince William, is “to find and grow the solutions that will repair our planet this decade.” 

Working in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Foundation, the Earthshot Prize pledges to use the next decade to award £1 million each year to five different organisations attempting to solve the climate-crisis. 

This year’s award ceremony was held in Boston, Massachusetts at the MGM Music Hall on December 2. The award show included a star-studded roster including David Beckham, Billie Eilish, Rami Malek and the Prince and Princess of Wales.

David Beckham announces Notpla as a winner / Credit: BBC News

Partnering with online food delivery service, Just Eat, Notpla is replacing plastic-coated containers from their 680,000 partners with bioplastic-free, fully recyclable and home compostable packaging. 

Just Eat praises Notpla for their work / Source: Twitter

The startup has already distributed more than one million takeaway boxes so far for the global food delivery service and also allows restaurants to buy their packaging in bulk through their shop.

The impact of Notpla’s inventive plant-based packaging is even more crucial in the wake of a 2022 report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which found that “the world is producing twice as much plastic waste as two decades ago.” 

Source info: OECD / Infographic credit: Delia Rowland

According to the OECD’s report, only 9% of all plastic produced is successfully recycled. As for the rest, 50% goes to our landfills, 19% is burned and the other 22% evades waste management systems altogether.

“No one wants to live in a world full of plastic waste but it’s not too late to act,” said Notpla founders upon receiving their award. “There’s never been a greater time to use natural solutions to solve the plastic challenge.” 

For more information on Notpla’s impact, check out their website