William Announces Second Earthshot Prize Finalists

The Prince of Wales has announced the finalists for his second Earthshot award, with the shortlist including a ‘big bubble barrier’ to catch plastics before they reach the ocean and a zero waste city.

Fifteen innovative ideas from around the world are in the running for the environmental competition in 2022, with five winners, due to be announced in Boston in the US next month, each receiving £1million to develop their projects.

There are also first-time UK finalists, with two UK entries selected.

Notpla Hard Material – a start-up run by Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez in London – makes packaging from algae and plants as an alternative to single-use plastic.

She has already created more than a million biodegradable take-out food boxes for the firm Just Eat.

The other UK finalist – Low Carbon Materials (LCM), based in County Durham, uses non-recyclable plastic waste to make traditional carbon-free concrete blocks.

Dr Natasha Boulding, one of the co-founders of LCM, said: “So far, construction has been one of the hardest industries to decarbonise.

“With LCM, everything could change. We got real net-zero and now we need the world to start using it.

Scott Bush and Natasha Boulding of LCM

Scott Bush and Natasha Boulding of LCM which uses non-recyclable plastic waste to decarbonise the construction industry (Earthshot Prize/PA)

William described the finalists as “innovators, leaders and visionaries” and said they proved there were “many reasons to be optimistic about the future of our planet”.

“They dedicate their time, energy and talent to bold solutions that can not only solve our planet’s greatest environmental challenges, but also create healthier, more prosperous and more sustainable communities for generations to come,” he added.

William was inspired in launching his ambitious 10-year £50million prize – which is designed to find solutions to repair and regenerate the earth – from John F Kennedy’s Project Moonshot which advanced the achievements of the humanity.

Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez from Notpla

Finalists Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez from Notpla, which makes packaging from algae and plants (Earthshot Prize/PA)

The prince said he was “so excited” to celebrate the finalists and meet the winners when he and the Princess of Wales travel to Boston – Kennedy’s hometown – on December 2 for the awards gala.

Other finalists include The Great Bubble Barrier, from the Netherlands, where air is pumped through a perforated tube to create a curtain of bubbles, which directs the plastic to the surface and into a waste collection system.

The City of Amsterdam’s circular economy is also a potential winner with its city-wide initiative to establish a fully circular economy by 2050, wasting nothing and recycling everything.

A clothing swap shop in Amsterdam (

A clothing swap shop in Amsterdam (Earthshot Prize/PA)

Kenya’s Mukuru Clean Stoves provides cleaner burning stoves to reduce unhealthy indoor pollution and provide a safer way to cook.

The initiative was started by Charlot Magayi, who grew up in one of Nairobi’s biggest slums, Mukuru, and sold charcoal for fuel.

Charlot suffered from repeated respiratory infections due to charcoal pollution, then sought an alternative solution after his daughter was badly burned by a coal stove in 2012.

Charlot Magayi with one of his own Mukuru stoves

Charlot Magayi with one of his clean Mukuru stoves which pollutes 90% less than an open fire (Earthshot Prize/PA)

Her eco-stoves use processed biomass from charcoal, wood and sugarcane and cause 90% less pollution than an open fire, and she plans to create an even cleaner version that burns oil. ethanol.

Others in the finale include Fleather – a leather made from floral waste in India; 44.01 based in Oman which removes CO2 by mineralizing it in rock; Hutan in Malaysia – a conservation organization that creates wildlife corridors to give orangutans safe passage to new habitats; and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef indigenous women’s group that uses ancient knowledge and digital technologies to protect land and sea.

There are five Earthshot categories: Protect and restore nature; Clean our air, revive our oceans; Building a world without waste; and Fixing Our Climate.

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