Say hello to the air-purifying plants of the future.
Are you a houseplant lover? Can’t get enough green, leafy plants? We have some exciting news for you. A French startup called Neoplants recently launched a bioengineered houseplant designed to clean indoor air. That’s right, a better plant can exist through science.
“For too long, the advance of technology has been at the expense of our environment,” said Lionel Mora, Neoplants CEO and co-founder, “Our team views nature as the world’s most powerful technology. It is critical that we use human talent for innovation to partner with and enhance our natural world rather than consuming it.”
Here’s everything you need to know about this new plant, as well as how you can get your hands on one of the bioengineered beauties.
Bioengineered for Better
Neoplants’ Neo P1 is a bioengineered version of the popular pothos houseplant. Also called Devil’s Ivy, it has rich green leaves and looks great in a pot on a desk, shelf, or coffee table.
According to Neolants, this plant is designed to purify a variety of pollutants from the air including formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and xylene. These pollutants come from things you already have in your home, such as furniture, paint, and aerosol products.
Just keep in mind that the P1 doesn’t come cheap. It currently costs $179, which is approximately five to ten times the price of the average pothos plant. However, for every purchase, Neoplant will invest a minimum of $20 into research and development against climate change. So, you can feel extra good about this purchase.
Another caveat—there’s also quite a long waiting list for the P1. So, even if you’re looking forward to treating yourself, you’re going to have to wait at least until the fourth quarter of 2023 to get your hands on one.
Don’t All Houseplants Clean the Air?
You’ve probably heard that houseplants are already capable of purifying the air in your home. So why would you need a bioengineered one? A 1989 study conducted by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America concluded that plants can technically purify the air. Another study conducted in 2009 included 28 different indoor plants and had a similar outcome to the NASA study. And a 2014 study looked at how plants can remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the air.
The problem is that these studies were conducted in sealed containers. Because our homes aren’t sealed, there’s no way to prove (at least without more research) that plants, bioengineered or not, can adequately remove toxins from a typical household environment.
As for how well Neoplants detoxify compared to regular houseplants, the same issue exists. While the company’s tests showed the P1 purifies better than the average houseplant, these tests were also conducted in closed environments.
So, if your top priority is removing toxins from your home and purifying the air, you’re better off putting the cost of the P1 into a brand-new air purifier and treating yourself to a less expensive pothos plant or two. But if you want a next-generation, bioengineered plant that looks great and is a conversation starter, go ahead and bring a P1 home.
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