Prince William announces first ever UK finalists for Earthshot Prize


Prince William has announced the finalists for the 2022 Earthshot prize and for the first time two UK entries have been featured. 

The new Prince of Wales has revealed the shortlist for the second year of his environmental competition which recognises fifteen innovative ideas from around the world.

This year’s finalists feature a “Great Bubble Barrier” to catch plastics before they reach the ocean, cleaner-burning stoves that reduce unhealthy indoor pollution and a zero-waste city.

Five winners will be announced in Boston in the United States next month and are set to receive £1 million each to develop their projects.

Your Local Guardian: PAPA (Image: Earthshot Prize /PA)

Two UK Earthshot prize finalists announced by Prince William

For the first time, two British-based entries have been shortlisted including a London-based start-up Notpla Hard Material and a County Durham company Low Carbon Materials (LCM).

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

More than one million biodegradable takeaway food boxes have already been made by the start-up for the popular firm Just Eat.

The other UK finalist, LCM uses unrecyclable plastic waste to make traditional concrete blocks carbon-zero.

Your Local Guardian: PAPA (Image: Earthshot Prize/PA)

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

“With LCM, that could all change. We’ve turned concrete net-zero and now we need the world to start using it.”

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

“They are directing their time, energy, and talent towards bold solutions with the power to not only solve our planet’s greatest environmental challenges, but to create healthier, more prosperous, and more sustainable communities for generations to come,” he added.

Your Local Guardian: Earthshot Prize /PAEarthshot Prize /PA (Image: Earthshot Prize/PA)

Prince William has taken inspiration in launching his ambitious 10-year £50 million prize from John F Kennedy’s Moonshot project which advanced mankind’s achievements.

The Earthshot prize was designed to find solutions to repair and regenerate the Earth.

The prince has said that he was “so excited” to celebrate the finalists and meet the winners when he and the Princess of Wales head to Boston on December 2 for the awards gala.

Earthshot 2022 finalists and categories 

Your Local Guardian: Earthshot Prize/PAEarthshot Prize/PA (Image: PA)

There are five Earthshot categories: Protect and restore nature; Clean our air, Revive our oceans; Build a waste-free world, and Fix our climate.

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

With its city-wide initiative to establish a fully circular economy by 2050, the City of Amsterdam is also a potential winner.

Mukuru Clean Stoves, a cleaner stove-burning company created by Kenyan-born Charlot Magayi, is also in the running since the stoves reduce unhealthy indoor pollution and provide a safer way to cook.

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

Others in the final include Fleather – a leather made out of floral waste in India; Oman-based 44.01 who eliminate CO2 by mineralising it in rock; Hutan in Malaysia – a conservation organisation which creates wildlife corridors to give orangutans safe passage to new habitats.

The Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef group from Australia also made the shortlist with their use of ancient knowledge and digital technologies to protect the land and sea.


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