With SO ÉTHIC, the circular economy is flourishing in flowerpots

Posted on 17 September 2020.

Veolia’s subsidiary SEDE and the start-up Bioplasmar have created a flowerpot made from organic waste that breaks down into compost on contact with the soil, thereby closing the circular economy loop.

Seven hundred million: that is how many flowers and plants the French buy every year, according to the joint trade organisation Val’hor. However, this flourishing sector needs to meet environmental challenges.
To package the millions of plants bought in France, professionals use flowerpots. Millions of flowerpots, up to twenty billion worldwide... and these single-use flowerpots are made with plastic materials that are often very difficult to recycle.

What if the solution came from our waste? Veolia’s subsidiary SEDE and the start-up Bioplasmar had the idea of transforming plant co-products and biodegradable natural materials from the circular economy into new generation flowerpots.
Aptly named SO ÉTHIC, this zero plastic flowerpot is 100% bio-based and 100% biodegradable. The pot is stable in the nursery and decomposes when buried in the soil. Plants are not handled during the planting phase as the pot is planted directly in the soil with the plant in it, decomposing in just a few weeks to act as a fertiliser, allowing better recovery.

This is a perfect example of a circular economy where no fossil resource is used. The French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRAE) support the project.
This encouraged SEDE to step up its efforts to market its flowerpot. After the first flowerpots produced in Châtellerault, New Aquitaine, the Veolia subsidiary plans to launch an automatedproduction line in its brand new factory in Bonneuil-Matours, Vienne.