The Prince of Wales has helped to make a major change at Aston Villa Football Club through his Earthshot Prize, it has emerged.
Prince William, 41, has been instrumental in helping sustainable packaging company Notpla trial its cartons at his beloved West Midlands club he supports.
Since the start of Villa’s season, pie and mash, burgers and hotdogs have been served up in cardboard containers featuring a seaweed-derived coating – not a plastic film – that means cartons can be recycled, and trials have also taken place at fellow Premier League club Tottenham.
It comes as Kensington Palace confirmed the Prince’s itinerary for his visit to Singapore next month, where the third Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony will be held on 7 November.
Pierre Paslier, co-founder and chief executive of Notpla, which in 2022 won the Build a Waste-Free World Earthshot category, said about William’s role in the trial at Villa: “He connected us, he made that connection happen.”
He said about Villa and Tottenham: “Two very first, significant trials that brought us to the attention of the catering companies that we could actually do something about reducing the production of their plastic waste.
“That’s been really exciting, to have a chance of being around the table and present for what we do, and now what’s really exciting is how do we turn those three, four stadiums into 40, 50 and this is what we’re hopefully announcing in the coming quarter.”
London-based start-up Notpla won an Earthshot Prize last year, and its products were used to create packaging for the Earthshot Burger, which William handed out to punters at Maltby Street Market in July.
William, along with celebrity supporters of Earthshot, is expected to fly to Singapore by a commercial not private flight, and other measures will be in place, say organisers, to make the event as sustainable as possible.
The four-day trip, which begins on 5 November, will see the father-of-three participate in “Earthshot Week”, a series of events bringing together businesses and investors with past winners and current finalists to accelerate their solutions.
During his solo visit, William will take part in dragon boating, and meet Singaporeans to learn how they work locally to protect the planet, and the 15 Earthshot Prize finalists will take part in a “fellowship” retreat that will give them networking opportunities.
The Prince unveiled the finalists during his two-day trip to New York last month.
The glittering awards ceremony on 7 November will also see guests showcasing sustainable or recycled fashion on the green carpet.
The Princess of Wales will not join her husband in Singapore as the trip coincides with Prince George’s exams, and she wishes to be at home in Windsor to support her eldest son.
William held his first Earthshot Prize awards ceremony at London’s Alexandra Palace in 2021, with Boston hosting the event last year – an ambitious project which each year presents five category winners with £1 million each to scale up their environmental ideas.
A Kensington Palace spokesperson said: “The Prince is very much looking forward to being in Singapore and that his ambition with the Earthshot Prize and United for Wildlife while we are out there is huge.
“The Prince wants to seize the opportunity of being in South East Asia to build more momentum around the Earthshot Prize winners and finalists and to put their solutions to some of the biggest environmental challenges we face firmly on the global map.
“He’s also committed to shining a light on the abhorrent illegal wildlife trade that United for Wildlife works so hard to tackle and bring in more partners than ever to help us do this.”