Everyone dreams of meeting a prince, having him sweep you off your feet and whisper those three little words: please, no plastic. In a recent interview, Nacho Figueras, a professional polo player and good friend of the Duke of Sussex, divulged that Prince Harry requests no plastic when staying at hotels. A prince of the people! A prince of the earth! A reduced plastic prince!
Figueras recently spoke with CBS This Morning about the royal couple, saying he believes they’re often “misinterpreted.” Figueras, who has traveled with Prince Harry as they’re both members of the same charity polo club, used the example of a recent hotel stay while they were away for a game
“[Prince Harry] was there and we were at the hotel where we spent the night before the game,” Figueras said to CBS This Morning. “He talked to a person and said, ‘This morning I got my coffee and I saw that you have a plastic thing on the coffee. And then I also sent my shirt and I got my shirt in a big plastic bag.’” Then, Figueras said Prince Harry added, “Can we please not use the plastic?”
"So that’s this guy, OK,” Figueras said. “I don’t like to talk about that at all, that’s who he is. That's who they are. No plastic.”
This will come as little surprise to anyone who’s followed the royal family for some time. As Marie Claire UK notes Prince Harry has talked about how his dad (as in the literal Prince Charles) was also eco-conscious, encouraging them to pick up trash when they saw it. “I used to get taken the mickey out of at school for picking up rubbish,” Prince Harry said. “I didn't go out consciously looking for it but when you go for walks anywhere and you see something and it stands out, you pick it up.”
Prince William also added that their father, “took us litter picking when we were younger. We thought this is perfectly normal, everyone must do it. We were there with our spikes stabbing the rubbish into black plastic bags.”
“I’ve literally done this because I’m programmed to do it because my father did it,” Prince Harry said. “We should all be doing it."
It appears Prince Harry’s eco-habits have carried over into his household. In the BBC documentary Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, which aired last fall, Prince Harry talked about one habit that he got from his dad: turning off all the lights at home.
“He’s a stickler for turning lights off,” Harry explained. “And that’s now something that I’m obsessed with as well.” Dads, even royal ones, are obsessed with cutting down the electric bill.
Both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have a track record of being eco-friendly. Meghan Markle has expressed her love of sustainable fashion in the past and the couple’s home is also pretty green, having installed an energy-efficient boiler and used vegan, cruelty-free paints.
On Earth Day this year, the couple shared a series of photos on their official Instagram page captioned with statistics about depleted resources and threatened or endangered species. “We all now know the damage plastics are causing to our oceans,” part of the caption reads, “Micro plastics are also ending up in our food source, creating not just environmental problems for our planet but medical problems for ourselves too.”
Recent studies suggest that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. If we continue to use plastics at our current rate, plastics in the ocean will outweigh fish. Requesting less plastic to try to avoid it may seem small or inconvenient, but changing our habits can help impact change at a great scale. Also, you’ll be following in the footsteps of a literal prince.