We Need A Floral Foam Alternative

Our planet is in trouble; we are drowning in plastic.  It is time for each of us to advocate for change where we can.  Just as I try to “tread lightly on the earth” in my personal life, I strive towards making sustainable business choices.

One of the biggest problems the floral industry faces is floral foam.  Floral foam poses many problems (see below).  We need a better product.  Our collective action can benefit the planet.  Join me to advocate for an improved floral foam alternative.


These are the problems with Floral Foam

The following is true of both the current formulation of both “regular” floral foam, and of the Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability:

  • It is a single use plastic.
  • It is a microplastic.
  • It takes up precious space in landfills.
  • It is a phenolic foam made from known carcinogens.
  • It poses a health hazard to florists.
  • It does not compost.  (Read more about the difference between “biodegradable” and “compostable”).
  • For a more in-depth look at the problems with floral foam, click here.

What is the solution?

Clearly, one solution is simply to avoid using floral foam.  I have created many different things for hundreds of events without it; I know this is a viable route.  But I respect that this may not be a satisfactory option for many florists.  In order to make the biggest positive impact on the planet, I feel that a better alternative product is needed.  What a difference it could make for our planet and our floral industry if we had a floral foam alternative that was:

  • 100% compostable according to ASTM standards – so that it would break down quickly, with no toxic byproducts, and did not need to be put a landfill.
  • Made with harmless ingredients, instead of petrochemicals and carcinogens that are hazardous to handle and breathe.
  • Made from waste products.  How wonderful if a waste product, like rice hulls or wood fiber, could be diverted and used, rather than a high-footprint kind of product like corn or soy.

Sign the petition

The only way to get what you want is to ask for it.  I think that it is important to let Smithers Oasis (the inventor of, and leading manufacturer of floral foam) know that there is a large community of florists who reject their current floral foam, and who would buy a better product if it was available.  Sign this petition to send the message to Oasis – stop manufacturing this product, and bring a better one to market!

Stop using floral foam

There are ways to work without floral foam.  I have written a 2-part blog post on how to build large scale installations using foam-free mechanics.  Please read it!  I hope it will help you create something without foam.  Every small change is a contribution to progress!

If you would like to learn more about how to work without floral foam, consider attending the Whidbey Flower Workshop in the spring!