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Prince William Hears How Earthshot Prize-Winning Idea Is Coming to U.K.'s Most Famous Venues in Latest Outing

The stop is one of two Earthshot Prize-related engagements on the Prince of Wales' calendar in the coming days

<p>James Veysey/Shutterstock</p> Prince William visits the Kia Oval Cricket Ground in London with the Earthshot Prize on March 8, 2024

James Veysey/Shutterstock

Prince William visits the Kia Oval Cricket Ground in London with the Earthshot Prize on March 8, 2024

Prince William is combining two of his interests, the Earthshot Prize and sports, into one exciting engagement.

After visiting the Wrexham AFC's soccer stadium last week, the Prince of Wales headed to another sporting venue on Friday. He stepped out at The Kia Oval Cricket Ground in south London for a special reason: to celebrate an Earthshot Prize winner's latest achievement.

Sustainable packaging startup Notpla, which won the Build a Waste-Free World prize at the second cycle of the global environmental awards that Prince William launched in 2020, has a new multi-million dollar deal with Levy UK + Ireland, part of the Compass Group, to bring its seaweed-based food packaging to over 50 sports and event venues.

The Kia Oval Cricket Ground is one of the venues that will roll out the natural packaging in addition to other well-known hubs including the O2 Arena, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Twickenham Stadium, Principality Stadium in Cardiff and the All England Lawn Tennis Club — home of the Wimbledon Championships, a staple on to Kate Middleton’s summer calendar.

<p>James Veysey/Shutterstock</p> Prince William visits the Kia Oval Cricket Ground in London with the Earthshot Prize on March 8, 2024

James Veysey/Shutterstock

Prince William visits the Kia Oval Cricket Ground in London with the Earthshot Prize on March 8, 2024

Through the new contract, Levy will use about 75 million Notpla items over the next three years, helping them to meet their ambitious targets to be more climate-friendly. Prince William is understood to have played a pivotal role in supporting the relationship between Notpla and the major caterer, and he spoke to Levy reps when he visited Notpla’s London headquarters last year.

<p>KIN CHEUNG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p> Pierre-Yves Paslier of Notpla and Prince William at the Kia Oval Cricket Ground on March 8, 2024

KIN CHEUNG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Pierre-Yves Paslier of Notpla and Prince William at the Kia Oval Cricket Ground on March 8, 2024

Prince William met with Notpla co-founder Pierre Paslier and officials from both The Kia Oval and Levy UK + Ireland. The Prince of Wales heard about how Notpla will be used at the cricket ground and why sustainable products are important at big events. William also peeked behind the scenes to see the packaging in action during a demonstration in the stadium kitchen.

Related: Prince Harry Reached Out to Prince William Ahead of U.K. Visit: 'It's Terribly Sad,' Source Says (Exclusive)

When previously speaking to PEOPLE about what it meant to win an Earthshot Prize, Paslier described the accolade as a game-changer.

<p>KIN CHEUNG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p> Prince William visits the Kia Oval Cricket Ground on March 8, 2024

KIN CHEUNG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Prince William visits the Kia Oval Cricket Ground on March 8, 2024

"Most importantly, the Earthshot Prize team is offering us some tailored support and will introduce us to a vast network of businesses, philanthropists and investors, that should boost scaling our commercialization," Paslier told PEOPLE in December 2022.

On success from the Earthshot attention, he added, "The past 24 hours have been an absolute whirlwind, major groups have reached out and so many restaurants up and down the country have been buying our plastic-free takeaway boxes from our website!"

<p>KIN CHEUNG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p> Prince William visits the Kia Oval Cricket Ground on March 8, 2024

KIN CHEUNG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Prince William visits the Kia Oval Cricket Ground on March 8, 2024

Related: Prince William's Earthshot Prize Shares Important News amid Kate Middleton's Surgery Recovery

Prince William also toured the cricket ground and met Surrey athletes who are training for the start of the season and ground staff who look after the venue. Though the next match is a month away, the team has created a marquee to mimic the conditions of a summer’s day for training.

The Kia Oval Cricket Ground is on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, the $1 billion estate Prince William inherited when he became Prince of Wales following the death of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth in September 2022. Historically, the Duchy provides an income for the heir to the British throne to support him and his family, paying for public duties and staff costs, but Prince William has a modern vision for its possibilities.

In late February, the Prince of Wales announced that he was spearheading a plan to build 24 homes for people experiencing housing difficulties on Duchy land in Cornwall. The pledge fulfills a vow he made in 2023 when he kicked off his Homewards project, a long-term campaign to end homelessness.

Now, the use of Notpla products at the cricket ground connects Earthshot to the Duchy, the latest collaborative partnership between Prince William’s public projects.

<p>Samir Hussein/WireImage</p> Prince William visits the Kia Oval Cricket Ground on March 8, 2024

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince William visits the Kia Oval Cricket Ground on March 8, 2024

Notpla is a family of regenerative packaging materials, comprised of seaweed and plants, serving as an alternative to single-use plastics to reduce pollution. The Earthshot honor has enabled the London-based business to scale, expand its team and invest in machinery for research and development. Notpla’s products have replaced 7.2 million pieces of single-use plastics from entering the environment to date, and the company has embarked on multiple partnerships since the Earthshot recognition.

The Prince of Wales launched the Earthshot Prize in 2020 to elevate impactful approaches to the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges, with plans to award prizes across five categories until 2030. Winners receive $1.2 million and support to scale their solutions. The inaugural awards ceremony was held in London in October 2021, followed by a second cycle in Boston in December 2022 and a third iteration in Singapore in November 2023. In February, organizers announced that the fourth prize ceremony will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in November.

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Kin Cheung-WPA Pool/Getty Images Prince William visits 2022 Earthshot Prize Winner Notpla in May 2023
Kin Cheung-WPA Pool/Getty Images Prince William visits 2022 Earthshot Prize Winner Notpla in May 2023

Prince William will make another related engagement next Monday when he attends a celebration of the Earthshot Prize Launchpad. The new matchmaking platform connects investors and philanthropists to help bring Earthshot solutions to scale, fast-tracking new opportunities for environmental solutions.

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Read the original article on People.