9th December 2022
On December 2, 2022, Prince William and the Earthshot Prize revealed the 2022 Earthshot Prize winners at a globally broadcast ceremony in Boston, Massachusetts. Announced by David Beckham, Notpla won the Earthshot Prize in the category of ‘Build a Waste-Free World”.
The Earthshot Prize, the world’s most prestigious environmental prize
Founded by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in 2020, The Earthshot Prize is a £1,000,000 global environmental prize to discover, accelerate and scale ground-breaking eco-solutions to repair and regenerate the planet. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot, which united millions of people around the goal of reaching the moon, The Earthshot Prize aims to catalyze an Earthshot challenge to urgently encourage and scale innovative solutions that can help put the world firmly on a trajectory towards a stable climate, where communities, oceans and biodiversity thrive in harmony by 2030.
The Prize focuses on five ambitious goals for our planet called 'Earthshots':
- Protect and restore nature
- Clean our air
- Revive our oceans
- Build a waste-free world
- Fix our climate.
To learn more about the Earthshot Prize, read our previous blog article, Notpla is an Earthshot Prize finalist!
Behind the scene of the Earthshot Prize ceremony
The winners were connected to the extraordinary ceremony by a global broadcast, celebrating all 15 Earthshot Prize Finalists - each representing a ground-breaking solution to repair our planet.
The Prince and Princess of Wales were joined by Earthshot Prize Council Members Christiana Figueres, Indra Nooyi, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, and Naoko Yamazaki, and a host of artists and advocates including Annie Lennox, Billie Eilish, Catherine O’Hara, Chloe x Halle, Clara Amfo, Daniel Dae Kim, David Beckham, Ellie Goulding, Rami Malek and Shailene Woodley.
Our co-founder and co-CEO, Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia, and 10 other lucky Notpla employees - the ones that have been at Notpla for the longest - were invited to join the BBC crew at Cheval Three Quays Hotel. We were waiting in a hotel room, watching the ceremony live.
When the BBC crew announced the ‘Build a Waste-Free World” category was about to be presented, we were ushered to the balcony of the room where the cameras were set up, and the excitement reached its climax. Winner.. Or not? The team had no idea.
David Beckham made his appearance as presenter of the category, and the team held its breath. When David Beckham said “Notpla”, revealing the winner of ‘Build a Waste-Free World, the heartbeat of each member of our team stopped. Shouts of excitement were resonating in front of the River Thames, tears of joy were facing Tower Bridge.
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Celebrating with the Earthshot Prize Award
The team was joined by other members of the Notpla family and the Earthshot Prize team, in a London pub to celebrate all together! The beautiful Earthshot Prize Award was going from hand to hand.
The award has been designed by the Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma, whose work is in the collection of MOMA (New York), the Victoria & Albert Museum (London) and the Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rein). She created 50 individual awards to be presented to the five winners of the Earthshot Prize each year for the next decade. Titled ‘Precious Matter’, the design of the award was inspired by the iconic photograph of Earth that was taken by astronaut General William Anders on December 24, 1968, during the Apollo 8 mission.
The awards have been made with recycled materials, including gold and brass sourced from water pipe fittings, household waste and minute metal elements filtered from wastewater sludge, and then amalgamated together. The design reflects the importance of reusing and recycling waste and aligns with The Earthshot Prize’s ambition to build a waste-free world.
After celebrating with canapes and prosecco in the center of the City, it was time for the team to go back to their East London roots.. We ended up in one of their favourite nightclubs, Color Factory, to successfully conclude this crazy night!
Watching the ceremony on Sunday to hear more about the 15 finalists and the 5 winners
Each Notpla member was watching the Earthshot Prize on Sunday 4th of December, on the BBC 1 channel, sharing this moment with family, friends or colleagues. This was a fantastic time to relive the emotion felt on Friday night, and learn more about the 15 finalists and the 4 other winners.
Following a rigorous selection process, led by the Earthshot Prize Council - a diverse team of influential individuals which include: HRH Prince William, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Sir David Attenborough, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Indra Nooyi, Shakira Mebarak, Christiana Figueres, Luisa Neubauer, Cate Blanchett, Yao Ming, Daniel Alves Da Silva, Ernest Gibson, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Jack Ma, and Naoko Yamazaki - 5 winners were announced during the ceremony:
- Mukuru Clean Stoves, in the category of “Clean our Air”. This start-up based in Kenya is providing cleaner-burning stoves to women in Kenya. The objective is to reduce unhealthy indoor pollution and provide a safer way to cook.
- Kheyti, in the category of “Protect and Restore Nature’. This pioneering Indian solution - Greenhouse-in-a-box - for local smallholder farmers helps to reduce costs, increase yields, and protect livelihoods in a country on the frontlines of climate change.
- Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef, in the category of “Revive our Oceans”. In Australia, this inspiring women- led program combines 60,000 years of indigenous knowledge with digital technologies to protect land and sea. The programme has trained over 60 women so far, encouraging new conservation approaches by sharing knowledge and telling stories.
- 44.01, in the category of “Fix our Climate”. This solution was created by childhood friends from Oman, who have developed an innovative technique to turn CO2 into rock, and permanently store it underground. By doing so, the CO2 is safely, efficiently and permanently removed from the atmosphere.
And of course, Notpla, in the category of “Build a Waste-Free World”!
Notpla, winner of the Earthshot Prize in the category of “Build a Waste-Free World”
Notpla was founded by Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, as they were looking for a solution to the plastic-crisis.
The company is leading the way in reducing society’s reliance on unnecessary single-use packaging by developing a portfolio of truly biodegradable solutions made from seaweed and plants that leave no trace at their end-of-life.
In the fight against climate change, seaweed could be a surprising – but vital – weapon. Seaweed is one of the planet’s most abundant sources of biomass - Giant Kelp’s biomass increases by 20% per day. Its production does not compete with food crops and requires no fertiliser or fresh water to produce. Finally, seaweed farmed for its production captures carbon 20 times faster than trees, addressing one of the key causes of the climate crisis. If 9% of the ocean had seaweed farms, we could draw down all the CO2 we produce (La Revolution des Algues, Vincent Doumeizel).
Our products address both the environmental and health implications of plastic pollution across multiple industries, from food, cosmetics to fashion and electronics. Notpla Ooho is an edible bubble to hold liquids for on-the-go consumption. This year, 38,000 Notpla-made Oohos, filled with water and AA drinks, were handed to runners at the Seven Hills Marathon, in the Netherlands. Notpla Coating replaces plastic in takeaway-food containers. This year, Notpla has made 2 million takeaway food boxes. One of Notpla's partners is Just Eat Takeaway.com, which is supplying seaweed-coated packaging for restaurants to buy on their webshops in the UK, Austria, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland.
Notpla continues researching and developing new formats and solutions, with a seaweed paper, flexible films and rigid materials in the pipeline.
The Earthshot Prize is going to help Notpla accelerate scaling commercialization. Thanks to the one million pounds, we are going to invest in R&D, continue to expand our team of chemists, engineers, and invest in new machinery. But most importantly, the Earthshot Prize team is offering us some tailored support and will introduce us to The Earthshot Prize’s vast network of businesses, philanthropists and investors, that should boost scaling our commercialisation.