Prince William visits Earthshot Prize winner Notpla

May 24, 2023
Prince William visit
The Earthshot Prize
Plastic-free packaging

In a visit to Notpla's headquarters, Prince William, the Founder of The Earthshot Prize, discovered how Notpla has grown in the six months since winning the prestigious sustainability award. During the visit, the Prince unveiled our new range of Earthshot-branded, seaweed-lined takeaway boxes and learned about our plans to launch a next major fundraising round. He also had a hands-on opportunity to create two of our sustainable seaweed products and meet some of our key stakeholders.

Notpla accelerating industrial production and commercial partnerships

Less than six months after winning The Earthshot Prize for our plastic-free consumer packaging products, the £1 million prize has allowed us to expand its team, adding 10 new hires, and to invest in new machinery to accelerate the injection moulding technology Prince William tested during his visit.

The Prince of Wales was impressed when shown the new injection-moulding development - “It’s breathtaking to see the advances you’re making”. But he admitted that it might still be too early for him to test the edibility of our Notpla Rigid material.  When proposed to eat it by our research engineer, Callum, the prince answered: “It might take me a while.”

Recently, we did significant advancements in industrial production and the expansion of commercial partnerships. We have established established new collaborations with leading distributors, including Bidfood, Bunzl, G.F Smith, and Just Eat Takeaway.com in Spain and Belgium. This strategic growth allowed us to scale its operations and cater to the increasing demand for sustainable packaging solutions.

Prince William Visits Earthshot Winner
''It is breathtaking to see the advances you are making.''
– Prince William

Major Fundraising Round and Continued Growth

Prince William's visit coincided with the company's preparation for the largest fundraising round to date. Building on the momentum generated by The Earthshot Prize, this round of investment will fuel our ambitious plans to launch our Notpla Coating in the United States market. The additional funds will also support the industrialization and introduction of other innovative product lines, such as our flexible film, seaweed-based films for packaging various dry products.

Notpla team picture with the Prince

Endorsement and Sustainable Choices

During the visit, Prince William had the opportunity to unveil and examine prototypes of our new Earthshot Prize-branded Notpla takeaway boxes. These boxes, lined with the natural Notpla Coating, represent a significant step toward replacing the two billion plastic-lined takeaway boxes used annually in Europe. The Earthshot Prize logo on the boxes provides crucial endorsement, enabling businesses and consumers to make sustainable choices confidently.

prince-william-visits-earthshot-winner_Notpla takeaway boxes with Earthshot Prize winner

A Legacy of Success

“Winning The Earthshot Prize has been transformative for our business. We’ve established commercial relationships with some of the giants of the industry, our production has expanded, and we’ve added key hires to our team in order to help us accelerate our impact in restoring the health of our planet,” said Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, our co-founder and co-CEO. “With new investment we will continue to grow and scale, transforming the packaging and food service industry and ensuring consumers have access to the plastic-free solutions that they’re demanding.”

The visit from Prince William showcased our progress in accelerating industrial production and expanding commercial partnerships in the last months. Most notably:

  • The catalytic £1 million prize allowed us to grow the team by 10 people, accelerate their research and development, and invest in new machinery to accelerate the injection moulding technology.
  • The month after being named an Earthshot Prize Winner, our commercial inbounds reached a peak, with a 40% increase.
  • This month, Notpla launched a range of seaweed-coated boxes with Bidfood UK - a foodservice distributor with over 45,000 customers across the United Kingdom.
  • We now supplied our packaging solutions to the distributor Bunzl, various stadiums, and extended our presence in Europe to eight countries through our partnership with Just Eat takeaway.com, launching in Spain and Belgium in the last three months.
  • Notpla Paper, a paper made from seaweed, is now being distributed with leading international paper distributor, G. F. Smith.
  • A fortnight ago 25,000 Oohos, Notpla’s plastic-free edible bubble, hydrated runners at Sweden’s Göteborgsvarvet, one of the biggest half-marathons in the world.

The Earthshot Prize team has also introduced our team to a vast network of partners and key decision-makers around the world, and offered tailored support to the company in a range of forms, including:

  • Connecting us with Aston Villa and Oval to explore how to make their stadiums more sustainable with Notpla takeaway boxes
  • Providing pro bono legal support with Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Supporting strategic expansion plans with the support of Deloitte

Thank you for visiting us, Prince William!

Notpla's visit from Prince William highlighted our latest companies innovations and commercial progress. With the support of The Earthshot Prize, our ambition is to replace millions of units of single-use plastic at a global scale. We also want to expand our operations through strategic partnerships. As we prepare for our largest fundraising round, we are poised to continue our mission of transforming the packaging and food service sectors with our innovative, true sustainable solutions.

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