Sustainable packaging start-up celebrates as seaweed burger box gets royal seal of approval

By Oliver Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

Sustainable packaging start-up celebrates as seaweed burger box gets royal seal of approval

Related tags Packaging Seaweed

The UK’s Notpla, which creates sustainable packaging solutions from seaweed and plants that disappear naturally to give consumers the convenience of single-use without the plastic waste, is cheering after Prince William unveiled ‘The Earthshot Burger’ to unsuspecting burger van customers in London.

The ‘Earthshot Burger’ ingredients were grown in a "greenhouse-in-a-box" created by Indian company Kheyti and cooked in pollution-reducing stoves built in Kenya. The burger was served in biodegradable cartons made by Notpla.

The three initiatives have all won the Earthshot prize, which was launched by Prince William in 2020 to support solutions to ‘repair and regenerate the planet’.

Prince William then teamed up with popular YouTube channel, Sorted Food, to serve the Earthshot Burger from a food truck in London’s capital.

Pierre Paslier, co-founder and co-CEO of Notpla, said the Earthshot Burger’ project shone a light on the role of sustainable packaging in developing a more climate-resilient food system.

“We could not have dreamed of a better collaboration than the one between Kensington Royal, Sorted Food and The Earthshot Prize to put the spotlight on our takeaway boxes lined with seaweed. Prince William serving our burger box and explaining its benefits and how it can help restore the planet is truly humbling and awesome to see.”

Credit Notpla_Notpla Small, Medium _ Large_Notpla takeaway boxes coated with seaweed
Image: Nopla

In May Notpla launched its range of seaweed-coated packaging with Bidfood Catering Supplies expanding its reach to as many as 45,000 caterers and food service businesses around the UK.

Notpla said its seaweed-derived formulation provides paperboard used in food packaging with similar grease and water-resistant qualities as plastic, but offers users simple disposal options, either through home-compost or by being placed in paper recycling streams.

Seaweed is one of nature's most sustainable resources, it added. “Abundant and fast-growing, seaweed doesn't require fresh water or fertiliser and does not compete for arable land, unlike many land-based natural crops. Seaweed also reduces ocean acidification and effectively absorbs carbon, making it one of our greatest weapons against climate change in the foodservice industry.”

The Bidfood listing comes following the UK government's announcement that it would be banning the supply of a range of single-use plastics in England from October this year.

Notpla said it anticipates more listings and wider international distribution in 2023 to meet the demand for sustainable packaging from both consumers and the industry. Notpla also has a long-term partnership with Just Eat This collaboration expanded from a pilot of seaweed-coated packaging in three London restaurants in 2019, to adoption across eight European markets and over 3 million takeaway food boxes ordered by Just Eat restaurant partners.

Tristan Kaye, Commercial Director of Notpla said: “This expansion of distribution will enable even more UK consumers to vote with their forks and choose businesses who put sustainability first, also making life simpler for those business owners ensuring they don’t fall foul of October’s impending legislation changes.”

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