Prince Charles backs methane-reducing "gimp masks for cows" in climate competition

What do you reckon?

(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

What do you reckon?

This week, senior Royal Prince Charles met with a group of inventors who have been working on new and alternative ways to cut carbon emissions in the UK.

He was attending the Royal College of Art's new Terra Carta Design Lab in south London on behalf of the Royal Family to congratulate competition winners.

While there, he aired his worries about the "urgency" with which we must tackle global warming.

One of the ways designers hope the cut the UK's carbon footprint - which is essential if we hope to fulfil our promise of reaching net-zero by 2050, as per the Paris agreement - is via a mask which has been compared to a "gimp mask for cows."

The masks are designed to lower methane by reducing the level of the chemical in the cow's burps - straight at the source, aka the cow's mouth, and in real-time. 

And the Royal has said that he gives the mask his backing, saying that, by embracing the designers’ ingenuity, "we will have a better chance of winning this battle in a shorter time."

The Prince questioned whether the cows mind wearing the masks, but researchers maintain that it "doesn't bother them at all."

Charles said: “I can’t tell you how proud I am to be associated with the Royal College of Art, particularly as a result of seeing the remarkable ideas presented by many of them alumni and existing students."

"May I say that it is critical because of the urgency we face in terms of the crisis confronting us in all directions and just how important is what their ideas represent in terms of finding solutions rapidly."

“I can only hope as a result of this and drawing a built more attention to what you are doing that we will have a better chance of winning this battle in a shorter time. I can only wish you every possible success. Many congratulations, marvellous.”

One of the founders of Zelp - that's the Zero Emission Livestock Project - called Charles backing the design a "great honour."

A photo posted by on

They initially floated the idea of the invention with him four years ago.

Why cows? Simply, because the methane they produce is one of the most problematic contributors to global warming. They naturally emit huge quantities of greenhouse gases every day simply by existing.

The competition was launched with Sir Jony, chancellor of the RCA, and is a part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative.

Each winner will receive £50,000 in seed funding.

Ally Head
Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, eight-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She regularly hosts panels and presents for things like the MC Sustainability Awards, has an Optimum Nutrition qualification, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw, with health page views up 98% year on year, too. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.