The floristry industry has historically been a real offender when it comes to single use plastic.
Floral foam (sometimes also known as oasis) became a mainstay of flower arranging in the 1950s, and is still widely used today. It's one of the worst kinds of plastic because it readily breaks down into microplastics, polluting wastewater, from where it can be ingested by a range of freshwater and marine animals.
Plastic based packaging for wholesale flower transport and gift packaging are still commonplace. These plastics are single use, with usually no option afterwards but to send to landfill.
This situation is gradually beginning to change, as people wake up to the need to be more sustainable and demand a better approach to waste and plastic in all their products.
I'm committed to avoiding single use plastic in all parts of my business. In my determination to do this, I’ve discovered a whole range of gorgeous natural alternatives - raffia and silk ribbons for tied bouquets, and moss and reusable wire bases instead of floral foam (which keep flowers fresh just as well as floral foam ever did!).
I use second hand pots, trays and crates for growing my flowers, taking care to wash and store these each season so that they last as long as possible. I don't grow in plastic landscape fabric, and instead weed by hand (with my trusty collinear hoe!), and use biodegradable mulches such as compost, straw and cardboard to keep weeds under control.
Sustainability is all about closed loop systems in which everything can be reused or recycled. It’s my aim for everything in my business to operate this way.