Vietnamese Talents
Vietnamese student team makes final round of The Earth Prize
  • | VNS | March 28, 2024 09:34 AM

CocoMellow, a team of students from Vietnam, was announced as one of the 10 finalists for The Earth Prize with their design for eco-diapers made from coconut coir and banana fibres.

The four team members of CocoMellow. — Photo courtesy of The Earth Prize

The team estimated that every day, 250 million disposable baby diapers are used globally, contributing to a staggering environmental problem.

These diapers, primarily composed of non-biodegradable synthetic materials, end up in landfills, taking centuries to decompose and polluting soil and water with microplastics.

Meanwhile, eco-friendly alternatives, made from organic cotton and bamboo fibre, remain inaccessible to many due to their high cost.

By repurposing agricultural byproducts, CocoMellow aims to create affordable diapers and promote effective resource utilisation, addressing both sustainability and accessibility concerns.

Coconut coir is used as the core for their diaper design for its exceptional absorbent properties, while the soft and water-resistant banana fibre provides comfort and leak protection. Both of these agricultural residues are abundant in Vietnam.

Started by the Swiss non-profit organisation The Earth Foundation, The Earth Prize is a global competition spotlighting teenagers who are innovating to save the planet.

Since 2021, it’s reached close to 10,000 students across 151 countries and territories, according to data from the organisers.

This year’s finalist teams are working on solutions spanning from natural disaster prediction technologies to textile waste recycling, fungi-based water filters and more.

Founder of The Earth Foundation Peter McGarry said: “We launched The Earth Prize to channel the obvious passion and frustration young people had towards the environment into something positive and productive.

“This third year of solutions shows again an incredible commitment from young people in over 100 countries to make a positive change, working together and taking inspiration from previous years.”

Angela McCarthy, CEO of The Earth Foundation, added: “The Earth Prize is much more than a competition. It galvanises the world’s youth to act in a positive way on behalf of the environment.

“Every year, and within the span of 5 months, the innovative minds of young people worldwide produce remarkable solutions to specific environmental sustainability problems. Given the critical challenges facing our planet, their contributions couldn't be more pertinent.

“Through initiatives like The Earth Prize competition, we prioritise listening to the voices of youth, fostering a world where their ideas can shape the future.”

The finalists will now receive mentoring and support to develop their ideas further. Winners will be announced on Earth Day (April 22) via a live-streamed event.

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