Prince Charles launches plastics competition

Prince Charles launches plastics competition

Prince Charles has launched a competition to persuade the world to tackle the "escalating ecological and human disaster" of plastics in the sea.
The 68-year-old royal – the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip – has teamed up with Dame Ellen MacArthur in a bid to encourage scientists, entrepreneurs, retailers and industry figures to design packaging that uses less plastic and is recyclable because the easy-to-produce, cheap, material is flooding the economy and creating "huge damage" to the environment.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Prince’s International Sustainability Unit (ISU) launched the New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize, which has up to £1.5 million in grants available to the winners, at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea.
According to the Daily Mail, Charles said in his speech: "As scientific consensus deepens on the impact of plastic waste on biodiversity, on the food chain and, dare I say it, on human health, it becomes ever more urgent that we find ways to deal with this escalating ecological and human disaster. With plastic being so cheap and easy to produce, it is little wonder that vast quantities flood our economy each year.
"Our ability to manage this flow, however, is struggling to keep pace and, alas, it is equally no great surprise that so much of our plastic waste is ending up in the environment. And because plastics are so extraordinarily durable, once they are in the environment that is where they stay, accumulating at an astonishing rate.
"This strikes me as a tragedy for two reasons. Firstly, because the loss of non-renewable resources from the system makes absolutely no economic sense; and secondly, because of the huge damage plastic pollution does to the environment, particularly the marine environment."
A report published by Dame Ellen’s foundation has claimed that the oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish – in weight – by 2050.
Charles explained: "The natural systems upon which we rely so heavily for our survival are circular by their very design; they do not create waste, but only materials for regeneration and new cycles of growth."