There is no escaping the growing consumer and media interest surrounding plastic waste and the implications on the environment. In fact, Google trends show that interest in the topic has risen by a staggering 300% over the last 3 years.
Consumers are waking up to the issues and are seeking products which reduce harm to the environment, and industry is responding. Companies are seeking alternatives to plastic packaging in order to boast their environmental credentials to consumers, but there is still a long way to go in many industries until a viable long-term alternative is found.
But what about floral foam? Is there a viable alternative?
A growing movement is aiming to open consumers’ eyes to the negative implications of floral foam. The social media collective @nofloralfoam is growing in popularity. The collective use social media to showcase, demonstrate and share techniques for achieving creative outcomes without the use of floral foam. It promotes images of artistic displays of blooms in place without the use of foam and shows what can be achieved with a little extra effort and creativity.
The movement is also being championed by many high-profile florists, most notably, Philippa Craddock – the Royal wedding florist, who used invisible buckets and tiny vials full of water all incorporated into the structure to keep the flowers at St. George's Chapel fresh during the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Princess Eugenie, a big environmental advocate, and her husband Jack opted for biodegradable Oasis Maxlife to be used in all their flower displays, due to environmental concerns. Another Royal florist, Shane Connolly who designed the flowers for two royal weddings: the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in 2005 and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, also aims to reduce the environmental impact of floristry and chooses to rely instead on a good old-fashioned water, with chicken wire or a nest of twigs to give gentle support.
With high profile Royal weddings ditching floral foam, and receiving much press coverage surrounding this, awareness of the floral foam issue is higher than ever and is leading the foam free trend. But what alternatives are available? Currently there is no product which directly replaces the ease of use of Oasis floral foam, and with the long period of time taken for Oasis Maxlife to biodegrade, the foam free trend is on the rise, which is generating a surge of creativity and innovation within the sector.