To reduce the volume of single-use plastic containers and be better stewards of the environment, Proven Winners is debuting a brand new, fully compostable container called the Eco+ Grande. This 4 ¼ -inch plant-powered container is made in the U.S.A. from starchy renewable plants like corn, switch grass and sugar beets and has organic nutrients built right into its walls. Four Star Greenhouse and Pleasant View Gardens offered finished product in the Eco+ Grande container this season, with a broader release scheduled for all interested growers in spring 2022.
Proven Winners has been working on the development of this compostable container for three years, running through dozens of iterations to find the perfect balance of durability for the grower/retailer coupled with the ability to break down in the landscape for the consumer. “No matter the industry, sustainability efforts are going to grow in importance. Our goal with the Eco+ Grande container is to be proactive by creating the first of what we hope will be many eco-friendly items that will resonate with consumers,” said Dave Konsoer, director of sales for Proven Winners.
The size of the Eco+ Grande container is very similar to the plastic Grande containers currently sold by Proven Winners. Proven Winners’ exclusive Self-Symetricize technology is built into the bottom of the Eco+ Grande container which fits into both H.C. and East Jordan 10-count trays.
The Eco+ Grande container is designed to be planted directly into landscapes and decorative containers. Home gardeners will remove the four pull-off tabs from the sides of the container to expose the roots, and can then set the entire container into the soil. Since the tabs also contain beneficial nutrients, they can be placed into the hole with the plant. Root disturbance is eliminated by not taking the plant out of the container. As the organic nutrients that are built into the Eco+ Grande container break down, they are released directly to the roots, helping the plants to grow bigger and stronger.
Every gardening environment is different. In some situations, the Eco+ Grande container will break down into very small pieces over a single growing season. In other cases, the container may break down more slowly. Any part of the compostable container that remains at the end of the season may be tilled under to add nutrients to the soil for the following growing season.
Consumers who do not wish to plant the EcoGrande+ container can industrially compost them, where available, to complete this product’s circular economy. The industrial compost process breaks the plant-based material down with heat and moisture to allow microbes to turn it back into an inert organic product. Should these compostable* containers end up discarded as waste, they will break down much more quickly than a traditional petroleum-based pot would in a landfill.
Growers and grower-retailers interested in Proven Winners’ new Eco+ Grande compostable container can learn more from this video or their Proven Winners Annuals propagator.
*Compostable = ASTM D6400 Certified Industrial Compostable