They attracted a lot of attention at our FACHPACK special exhibition Transition in Packaging at Design. Now, the young company Notpla has been nominated for the Earthshot Prize, the Nobel Prize-like award for the environment headed by Prince William.

Notpla is one of three finalists in the "Building a Waste-Free World" category of the Earthshot Prize. The winner:in beckons 1 million pounds to expand its own solution.

Notpla, a nod to "Not Plastic," harnesses the power of algae to replace single-use plastic, a major cause of global pollution. To do so, Notpla is developing a portfolio of biodegradable solutions that leave no trace at the end of their life.

The UN Environment Programme estimates that of all the plastic waste ever produced, only 9% is recycled, 12% is incinerated, and the remaining 79% ends up in landfills, dumps or the natural environment. Notpla is leading the way in reducing society's reliance on unnecessary single-use packaging by developing a portfolio of truly biodegradable solutions made from algae and plants that leave no trace at the end of their end-of-life cycle. In the fight against climate change, seaweed could be a surprising - but crucial - weapon.

Seaweed is one of the richest biomass sources on Earth - giant kelp biomass grows by 20% per day. Its production does not compete with food crops and does not require fertilizers or freshwater. Finally, kelp grown for its production sequesters carbon 20 times faster than trees, combating one of the main causes of the climate crisis. If 9% of the ocean had farms with seaweed, we could remove all the CO2 we produce (La Revolution des Algues, Vincent Doumeizel).

A core value of Notpla is "Nature knows best" and provides the blueprint for a healthy and happy planet. In line with the new EU directive on single-use plastics to ban synthetic materials such as PLA, PHA and other bioplastics, Notpla materials biodegrade in just 4-6 weeks without the need for industrial composting or special conditions.

The Earthshot Prize is a global environmental award led by Prince William to incentivize and help repair our planet over the next decade. Two strategic imperatives embody this goal: 1. Support environmental innovators and scale the impact of their solutions. 2. inspire optimism and encourage action through culture-shaping storytelling.