Open call for projects and ideas that drive the circular economy forward!

The crQlr Awards are a global movement to celebrate initiatives in the circular economy.

Results THU, SEP 01, 2022 - FRI, OCT 21, 2022

We would like to introduce the crQlr 2021 Award Winning project "ZenZhou Water-Storing Seedling Pot" which is used as the key visual for the crQlr 2022 Awards.

ZenZhou Water-Storing Seedling Pot

Zenzhou Social Enterprise / 仁舟社會企業股份有限公司 / 仁舟社會企業股份有限公司
ZenZhou Official Website :

The project was awarded the Bio-Renewal Prize (by David Benjamin), the Regeneration Award (by Guillaume Charny-Brunet), and the Pioneer Pot Prize (by Willemijn de Iongh) at the crQlr Awards 2021.

ZenZhou Water-Storing Seedling Pot
ZenZhou Water-Storing Seedling Pot
ZenZhou Water-Storing Seedling Pot
ZenZhou Water-Storing Seedling Pot


ZenZhou Water-Storing Seedling Pot has obtained two patents in Taiwan. It’s made of recycled paper and biodegradable materials. It has a string-drip irrigation design to transport water to the roots, improving sapling survival rate up to 70% and growth rate 2 to 3 times faster. The pot provides functions of rainwater-storing and sapling protection for about a year, then it will be broken down by microorganisms, fertilizing the soil and nurtures grown-up saplings to protect our homestead.

Detailed description of this project

For ZenZhou, reducing plastic use is not just a belief but also an industry that benefits both human beings and the environment.

ZenZhou with spirits of invention use materials that are friendly to health and environment to creatively develop series of practical and stylish products. Our goal is to solve the health crisis and global sustainability crisis caused by plastic.
From product development, design, producing to sales and promotions, ZenZhou provides solutions of reducing plastic use for customers. We also integrate supply chain and sales partners who embrace the same concept to create a platform for low-plastic and sustainable life.

Under the threaten of climate change, “PlantAhead, A Trillion Trees to Fight the Climate Crisis” has become an important policy to limit global warming, prevent national soil erosion, maintain ecological conservation, and limit desertification. Taiwan as an island country faces the same severe situations, hence building “the Green Great Wall” for coastline. Planting trees around coastal region not only limits the impact of ocean waves but also creates windbreak to bind sand, protect the coastline, purify the air, limit sea spray, and reduce coastal erosion. “PlantAhead” also echoes the National Ecological conservation Green Network Project (National Green Network) of Taiwan government to solve the crisis of coastal erosion and acts as the strongest Great Wall to fight climate change.

Industrialization has likewise intensified urban shrinkage, and the mangrove forest in the coastal region has been affected as well. The coastline of Southeastern Taiwan has been shrinking at the speed of 3 to 20 meters per year due to industrialization and groundwater over-pumping, thus the urgency to build a Green Great Wall around the coast region. However, forest cultivation is extremely difficult around coast due to strong wind, sand drift, salt, and storm surge. Water supplement is crucial especially during the first three months of planting the sapling. The survival rate would drop dramatically if the sapling were lack of water. A patented plastic seedling pot was then invented in Europe to solve the issue. However, the pot becomes a plastic waste in soil after the saplings starts to grow stably on their own. It is labor consuming to take out the plastic seedling pot one by one, so the plastic seedling pot, using for planting trees to create positive impact to the earth, ends up creating plastic pollution.

ZenZhou water-storing seedling pot is made of recycled paper and biodegradable materials. It provides functions of rainwater-storing and sapling protection for about a year. The design inspiration comes from the shape of Chinese gold ingots, which symbolize the accumulation of wealth and water. ZenZhou water-storing seedling pot has a string-drip irrigation design to transport water to the roots, so the sapling survival rate can improve to 70% and growth rate is 2 to 3 times faster.

ZenZhou Water-Storing Seedling Pot has obtained two patents in Taiwan. It can contain 15 liters of water and constantly supplies saplings with water by the strings applying capillary action. The whole pot will be broken down by microorganisms after one year, fertilizing the soil and nurtures grown-up saplings. The pot basin restores water and pot lid prevents direct sunlight shedding on the saplings or strong wind impacts, thus creating suitable environments for saplings. The planting site is normally in a rural region, and ZenZhou Water-Storing Seedling Pot provides solutions to abundant irrigation and weeding labor cost, tap water usage, and CO2 emissions from irrigation truck transportation. ZenZhou Water-Storing seedling Pot is an eco-friendly planting equipment that raises sapling survivability and protects our homestead.

Judge's Comments

Bio-Renewal Prize

by David Benjamin

This project engages a critical ecological problem with an ingenious design solution. It involves an elegant product and system, employs a light touch, and combines form and function in a compelling way. Equally appealing—and more radical—is how the project applies “design with time,” inviting change rather than resisting it, balancing the needs of today, one year from now, and ten years in the future—and thereby expanding the boundaries of what all good design might be. In addition, the project suggests a new and exciting hybrid nature, harnessing biological systems and extending them through human creativity. I would love to see this project maintain its community-based and participatory nature while also scaling up. I wonder if it could include partnerships with local landowners, government ministries, non-profits, and corporations. Perhaps it could bring together these entities with a common purpose and vision. The time in now!


Regeneration Award

by Guillaume Charny-Brunet

Low cost coastal protection idea that goes beyond circularity to regeneration. Applications for such low tech/ low cost products are broad and highly replicable. Cardboard and paper being the most recycled material, we could imagine developing tools for fighting desertification around the world. For this project the vertical integration of the supply chain and existing sales pipeline shows there must be a buisness case. I would like more information around cost of production, manufacturing process, durability, and current IP/pattent protection. Could such solution be adapted to Home products (B2C) as a way to reduce need for watering or increase plant health?


Pioneer Pot Prize

by Willemijn de Iongh

Beautiful to see a sustainable tool build to restore Taiwan's coastal region, very important work! Research and development is key for this product. Test, test and test again to see what the survival rates and decomposition does in practice. For example, the Land Life Company works with a similar product and experienced a real need to protect seedlings from high irradiation, winds, rodents, and desiccation. In addition, great if this prototyping and learning approach can be combined with knowledge on planting trees which the rule of thumb is always: the right tree, in the right place at the right time. Do you have partners that can help you with that? This product reminds me of the Cocoon developed by the Landlife Company and would be a great connection for you to exchange insights and learnings with:


Removed follow.