Have you wondered what all the recent fuss about floral foam is for? Let's go over it. I'll try to keep it simple.
Floral foam is a product that, while incredibly convenient to use, also causes serious harm to our beautiful planet, wildlife and even us.
Made of plastic (phenolic resin), it does not compost or biodegrade. This is a real problem as it breaks down into tiny particles which we know as microplastics, ending up in waterways and subsequently often in our bodies via the seafood we eat. It just doesn't go away.
Whilst there are 'bio' versions available, studies have now shown that they are likely to only partly biodegrade under very particular conditions that are not found in natural settings. In fact, the bio foams have been found to cause more harm, not only because they can leach more toxic compounds into water but also due to the partial-degradation process creating microplastics faster, doing real damage to aquatic life.
That's why so many florists worldwide are moving away from the use of floral foam and it's heartening to see the Royal Horticultural Society have banned the use of it at their events including the beloved Chelsea Flower Show as of 2020.
It's time to step up. It simply feels wrong to simultaneously love and appreciate flowers that grow from the Earth while dumping harmful substances back into it.
I am by no means here to judge those who still use floral foam, each person's choice is their own after all. However, I do take heart in helping to raise awareness and provide education in alternative methods and materials in the spirit of supporting florists to consciously do less harm. The small changes we make collectively can add up to big differences.
For more information on this topic, I recommend having a look at https://www.sustainablefloristry.org/blog-index/aboutfloralfoam
It's a good read and gives some excellent information.