50% of plastic packaging is used once and thrown away with estimates suggesting that plastics can take several centuries to decompose.

Lise studied biological sciences at the University of Oxford and then did a master’s in environmental technology at Imperial College London. Pierre studied materials science and engineering in France before coming to Imperial College London and studying innovation design engineering. They were both passionate about the environment and how engineering could make a difference.

Pierre wanted to make a plastic that didn’t harm the planet and invented a plastic alternative made from plants and brown seaweed, which biodegrades naturally in 4-6 weeks. Pierre and Lise joined up at the new company Notpla to create plastic alternative products.

Notpla’s sustainable materials can reduce plastic waste and lessen the carbon impact. It is estimated that they have 85% less associated carbon emission than equivalent plastic packaging. Seaweed is one of the fastest growing organisms on Earth, making it a quick and sustainable material to use.

Notpla’s first product, Ooho, is a flexible biodegradable packaging for beverages and sauces that can even be eaten! Ideal for products with a short-use life, Oohos can replace plastic cups at sporting events and sachets in take-aways. Oohos recently replaced 40,000 Lucozade bottles at the Virgin Money London Marathon. Next, Lise and Pierre want to take on future packaging solutions like heat sealable films, take-away boxes and nets.

Lise and Pierre are making a difference by reducing the planet’s plastic problem.