LONDON (AP) — A bubble barrier that prevents plastic waste from reaching the ocean is one of 15 initiatives named as finalists for the Earthshot Prize of the year, a global competition focused on finding new ways to protect the planet and tackle climate change.
Prince William, the heir to the British throne, announced the finalists on Friday. The five winners, to be announced next month in Boston, will receive £1 million ($1.1 million) to develop their ideas and scale up their projects.
The prince and his charity, the Royal Foundation, launched the award in 2020, inspired by US President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 “Moonshot” speech, which challenged Americans to go to the moon by the end of the decade. .
William described the finalists as “visionaries” who offer reasons to be optimistic about the future of the planet.
“They are investing their time, energy and talent in bold solutions with the power to not only solve our planet’s greatest environmental challenges, but also create healthier, more prosperous and sustainable communities for generations to come,” he said in a statement. a statement.
One of the finalists is The Great Bubble Barrier, a Dutch invention that pumps air through perforated pipes in riverbeds and canals to create a curtain of bubbles designed to push plastic to the surface and into a waste collection system.
This removes plastic from waterways and prevents it from reaching the ocean, “where it is nearly impossible to catch and dispose of,” the promoters say.
A Kenyan startup aims to provide cleaner burning stoves to make cooking safer and reduce indoor air pollution. It was the brainwave of Charlot Magayi, who grew up in one of Nairobi’s largest slums and sold charcoal for fuel. When her daughter was severely burned by a charcoal stove in 2012, she developed a stove that uses a safer fuel made from a combination of charcoal, wood, and sugar cane.
The stoves cut costs for users, reduce toxic emissions and lower the risk of burns, Magayi says.
Other projects include Fleather, a project in India that creates an alternative to leather from floral waste; Hutan, a conservation project in Malaysia to protect orangutans; and SeaForester, a pioneering seaweed farming effort aimed at restoring the ocean’s forgotten forests.
For a list of the finalists: Earthshotprize.org
Follow AP’s coverage of climate and environment: https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment