"Is that pot made of plastic?"
Translation:Ĉu tiu poto estas el plasto?
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I know this post is two years old, but I feel it is an important point. The difference between "tio" and "tiu" is not that one refers to an inanimate object and the other to a person. Rather, "Tio" is used what the thing is is not specified: "That is useful" for instance, which in Esperanto would be "Tio estas utila". But here, we are told what the ting is - it is a pot - so "tiu" is used. "Tiu poto" means "that pot".