Scottish Edge-winning POTR launch world’s most sustainable plant pot made from abandoned sea waste

Scottish EDGE-winning POTR co-founder Andrew Flynn was inspired to take action after witnessing the huge scale of sea waste washing up on Scotland’s west coast

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AN eye-opening surfing trip on Scotland’s stunning west coast has inspired the world’s first self-watering plant pot produced from the waste washing up on our shores.

Former Dyson product design engineer and POTR co-founder Andrew Flynn, 31, was shocked to witness the immense scale of the sea debris as he took on the waves off beaches of the Outer Hebrides.

A dawning realisation something needed to be done left him determined to take action, and alongside co-founder Martin Keane, Andrew is now helping clean up the beaches and waters around the world by transforming abandoned ocean waste into the world’s most sustainable, self-watering plant pot.

POTR has now released its limited edition Ocean Pot range, made from 100% recycled fishing nets – the product of Andrew and Martin’s design for a unique green solution to transform tonnes of discarded debris reclaimed from coastlines across the UK and Europe.

POTR will also ensure a percentage of profits from their Ocean Pots goes towards protecting our seas, with the sales supporting the goal of the Ghost Diving UK charity, which uses specialised divers to retrieve deserted equipment which ‘continues to fish’.

Speaking about the surfing trips that had a profound impact on him and his POTR vision, Andrew said: “I’ve spent years taking my surfboard up and down the west coast of Scotland, where you can easily see the scale of the problem.

“The amount of marine waste washing up on the shores has been growing at an alarming rate and sometimes you can feel a little helpless.

“However, I believe as a designer I have a responsibility to find solutions which make a positive impact on our planet. Waste material in our oceans can be converted back into beautiful, long lasting and functional products which has been our aim with POTR.  

“Working with Ghost Diving UK has also re-emphasised the issue is far more than a literal drop in the ocean, with coastlines across the UK, Europe, and the globe contaminated with abandoned fishing nets and plastic waste which continue to pollute thriving sea life.

“We’re proud to have produced the world’s most sustainable plant pot and with the huge financial support we’ve recently received from Scottish EDGE, we’ve been continuing to explore how we can further enhance our pots to be even greener.

“From the moment we founded POTR in 2019, Martin and I had the ambition to produce our pots from ocean waste and with help from those who have supported and worked with us, we’ve finally achieved it.

“The ultra-low carbon footprint of the POTR Ocean Pot isn’t down to the recycled material alone. The product has been designed from the ground up with sustainability in mind. The flat-pack layout reduces the carbon footprint by 100 times during transport and delivery, while the origami design reduces total material used by over 90% compared with a traditional plant pot. This is a holistic approach to sustainable design.”

Since Andrew and Martin first introduced the world to their self-watering origami plant pots in 2019, POTR has gone on to grow a global following.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, they quickly sold out of their first manufacturing run of 6,000 units. Now, they have customers in over 50 countries, while gaining media coverage across the globe.

Posted flat-packed through your letterbox in a 100% recycled card envelope – and delivered free of charge – the origami pot transforms into a modern, self-watering home for your favourite house plant.

Simply pour water inside the pot and whenever your plant is a little thirsty, it will automatically start drinking through the cotton cord.

Designed in Glasgow and produced in Bristol, POTR’s standard range is made from recycled polypropylene and recycled cotton that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

However, after the duo scooped the prestigious Scottish EDGE award this summer, securing an incredible £100k investment, they’ve been able to accelerate their sustainable material exploration, leading to the launch of the Ocean Pot range this October.

Gaining widespread recognition for their green goals and initiatives, POTR also won the Zero Waste Scotland Award at Scottish EDGE, sweeping up at the Startup Awards too, taking the Green Startup of the Year and Scottish Startup of the Year titles. POTR were also invited to exhibit at COP26 last year to showcase their approach to holistic sustainable design.

POTR will go further in their commitment to cleaning up the seas by supporting Ghost Diving UK through their Ocean Pots sales.

‘Ghost fishing’ is a common term used when derelict fishing gear continues to catch fish. The Ghost Diving charity was established in 2012 with the goal of retrieving the discarded fishing gear and other marine debris, using specialised divers who operate on a voluntary basis.

Duncan Simpson, GDUK North Coordinator, said: “Ghost Diving is a global organisation and the UK chapter is a small group of volunteers.

“Donations from companies like POTR are essential to support Ghost Diving removing abandoned or discarded fishing gear from the sea and help us pay for diving boats and equipment needed for successful missions.”

The spotlight was quickly shone upon co-founders Andrew and Martin’s creation after the duo’s revolutionary product was spotted by world-renowned Italian designer Rossana Orlandi, while they were also invited to exhibit the pots at the London Design Festival.

Following the sizable Scottish EDGE funding, POTR is now able to deliver up to 100,000 different sustainable plant pots a month, while making every effort to tackle the marine waste crisis as they grow.

The POTR Ocean Pots range starts at £16 and is available from the POTR online store. For more information on POTR’s story and to see the full product range, visit potrpots.com. 

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