The royal, who has a lifelong commitment to conservation and the environment, spoke during his visit to Ghana about the announcement that his son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their first baby in the spring — and how the new generation will be affected by current pollution.
“I am about to have another grandchild actually. I suspect quite a few of you may too have grandchildren or will do soon,” he said, according to the Telegraph. “It does seem to me insanity if we are going to bequeath this completely polluted, damaged and destroyed world to them.”
Charles continued, “All grandchildren deserve a better future.”
The Queen’s eldest child, who celebrates his 70th birthday later this month, focused his speech on plastic and the need for innovative ways to reduce its waste.
“A good start has been made. The matter of plastic debris in the environment, in particular the ocean, is now on the agenda,” he said. “We do, however, need to keep it there as the amount of plastic entering the ocean every year is, unbelievably, set to get worse rather than better. We cannot, indeed must not, allow this situation to continue.”
Charles continued, “A solution is achievable and simply has to be done for all our sakes – and, above all, for the long-term viability of all those species in the sea which are already suffering unbearably because of our actions.”
During a tour of whiskey distillery Royal Lochnagar in Scotland last month, Charles was asked if he had toasted to the news that his younger son was having a child.
“Oh yes, absolutely,’ he said. “Several times.”
He also recently snuck in a tribute to his grandchildren, the little ones of Prince William and Kate Middleton, in a video released on social media: the official family portrait from Prince Louis‘ christening in July featuring Louis, 6 months, Princess Charlotte, 3, and Prince George, 5.
Charles spoke candidly about a special present he planted for his first grandson, Prince George, just after his birth in July 2013 in the upcoming documentary, Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70.
Speaking from his arboretum at his Scottish home of Birkhall, Charles gestures to dozens of trees that were planted when the royal was born five years ago, and says: “This is George’s wood.”
“As I get older, all I really long for is to plant trees,” Charles continues. “I hope it will be quite amusing for George, as they grow up, and he grows up.”
This first appeared on PEOPLE.