The Earthshot Prize, spearheaded by Prince of Wales, has initiated a significant transformation within Aston Villa Football Club. Notably, Prince William, aged 41, has played a pivotal role in orchestrating the trial of sustainable packaging by the innovative company Notpla at his cherished West Midlands club.
Since the onset of the Villa's current season, delectable fare such as pies, burgers, and hotdogs are now served in cardboard containers that boast a seaweed-derived coating, rather than the conventional plastic film. This revolutionary shift allows for the recyclability of the cartons. Similar trials have also taken place at another Premier League club, Tottenham.
This development coincides with Kensington Palace's confirmation of Prince William's forthcoming visit to Singapore in the upcoming month. The visit is in conjunction with the third Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony, slated for the 7th of November.
Pierre Paslier, the co-founder and chief executive of Notpla, a company that secured the Earthshot Prize in the “Build a Waste-Free World” category in 2022, expressed his appreciation for Prince William's role in Villa's trial. He stated, “He facilitated the connection that made this trial possible.”
Regarding Villa and Tottenham, Paslier remarked, “These were two pioneering trials that brought our capabilities to the attention of catering companies, encouraging a reduction in plastic waste production. It has been truly exhilarating to have a seat at the table and present our innovations. What's even more thrilling is our ambition to transform these initial three or four stadiums into 40 or 50. We hope to make this announcement in the forthcoming quarter.”
London-based startup Notpla earned an Earthshot Prize last year. Their products were utilized to create packaging for the Earthshot Burger, which Prince William distributed to patrons at Maltby Street Market in July.
Prince William, alongside other high-profile supporters of Earthshot, is anticipated to travel to Singapore via commercial rather than private means. Organizers assure that additional measures will be implemented to ensure the event's sustainability.
Commencing on the 5th of November, the four-day journey will encompass “Earthshot Week,” comprising a series of events that bring together businesses, investors, past award recipients, and current finalists to expedite their sustainable solutions.
During his solo visit, Prince William will partake in dragon boating and engage with the local Singaporean community to learn about their localized environmental conservation efforts. Moreover, the 15 Earthshot Prize finalists will participate in a “fellowship” retreat, providing them with valuable networking opportunities.
Last month, the Prince unveiled the finalists during his two-day visit to New York.
The grand awards ceremony on the 7th of November will also feature attendees showcasing sustainable or recycled fashion on the verdant carpet.
Notably, the Princess of Wales will not accompany her husband to Singapore. Her decision is influenced by the coinciding timing of Prince George's examinations, and her desire to be present in Windsor to support their eldest son.
Prince William hosted the inaugural Earthshot Prize awards ceremony at London's Alexandra Palace in 2021, with Boston hosting the event last year. This ambitious project bestows a substantial £1 million to each of the five category winners annually, facilitating the expansion of their environmental initiatives.
A spokesperson from Kensington Palace remarked, “The Prince eagerly anticipates his visit to Singapore, with ambitious goals for the Earthshot Prize and United for Wildlife. His aim is to capitalize on the opportunity presented by South East Asia, further raising the profile of the Earthshot Prize winners and finalists and highlighting their solutions for the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Additionally, he remains steadfast in his commitment to shedding light on the reprehensible illegal wildlife trade, a challenge that United for Wildlife tirelessly addresses, with a focus on forging new partnerships to combat this menace.”