Floral foam, usually referred to as Oasis is much loved by florists worldwide for its convenience.
Oasis is really appealing for any florist, those green blocks of sponge foam are brilliant for making arrangements from small to large designs as they are able to absorb and hold water. This means that the floral design can be kept fresh up to 4 days without adding any extra water.
It is also simple to cut and mould, is easy to transport and holds flowers tightly in place even for lengthy journeys in the van.
However, there are a few significant problems with the floral foam that are difficult to ignore.
It’s made from synthetic non-recyclable plastic and is created using a combination of carbon black, formaldehyde and phenol foam, which are all toxic both to humans and animals.
Each block of foam contains the same amount of plastic as 10 shopping bags.
But what is floral foam?
Invented by Vernon Lewis Smithers in 1954 it was a milestone for floristry and has become very quickly an essential tool in the floral industry for creating quick floral arrangements.
Each block holds up to 50 times its weight in water and keeps the blooms fresh up to 12 days.
Why is floral foam bad for the environment?
Floral foam is contributing to the growing crisis of plastic pollution.
Thanks to its mossy texture, green hue and the fact that it's used with flowers, it can be easily be mistaken as a natural product.
But in reality floral foam doesn’t fully dissolve in water or degrade in landfill or soil. Instead, it breaks down into smaller and smaller micro-plastics and can take thousand of years to completely revert into natural elements and are a real menace for the environment by contaminating our marine life and food chains.
Fortunately we live in a growing environmentally-conscious world.
We all got captivated, young and old by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet who bought our attention to the issue of plastics in the ocean and highlighting now more than ever it is important that we do our part for living in harmony with our Earth.
At The Hiden Collective we are floral foam free and instead we use either chicken wire or keizan (a metal spiky devices that sit in a vase or bowl and hold the flowers stems shown in the picture to the left).
Also we feel that it it is important that we voice our concern and that we try to raise the bar of the floral industry to a more environmental friendly place.
We are really happy to see that The Royal Horticultural Society has banned the use of Oasis from all its garden and horticultural shows from 2021.
Join now the floral foam free movement!