Sustainability News November 2022 - British Florist Association

Sustainability News November 2022

First of all we would like to thank all of you who attended the BFA sustainable drop in session at FleurEx 2022. It was great to get interactive with you and find out what you want to know about sustainability within Floristry. We also had a lovely Zoom call with Wigan and Leigh College and understand the students were really keen to learn about what they could do, as the florists of the future.

We ran the Sustainability drop in twice over the FleurEx weekend and a few questions seemed to be popular so we have covered these points below.

What alternative products can you use instead of foam?

It was great that Stephanie from OASIS® Floral Products was on hand at FleurEx to explain the new products they are introducing and how they can support Florists moving forward.

If you missed our last news update in August, it is worth heading over there to see what alternative products there are and how we can use them commercially

Julie has noted that if you wrap OASIS® Floral Products Fibre floral or AgraWool in string after soaking, it holds the stems much better. Have a go and see what you think.

Moss use in Floristry

One of the questions asked was, Is sphagnum moss a sustainable medium to design with? A very viable question and we have this video link below which shows developments in how UK commercial moss is being grown, which you may find interesting.

Education of sustainability

It is so important that educators keep up to date with the developments in sustainability and the BFA Member colleges have been contacted via email about our training and education meeting, which takes place virtually on 13th January 2023. On this meeting Julie Collins we will be there to give some updates on sustainable news and sustainability will be on the agenda for discussion.

It’s equally important that working florists know these meetings take place and that tutors discuss and talk about the support they need as well as learning from each other. In this way we make sure the florists of the future are well equipped in all areas of floristry skills so that they are ready to enter the workforce.

Wrapping, cellophane and presentation

A concern for many is how to keep your presentation standards high whilst also being sustainable. One of the main problems with wrapping is how we dispose of it and unfortunately at the moment this isn’t really clear, as each country has its own recycling rules. Indeed, what can be recycled by each UK local authority also differs, so a product may well be recyclable but it depends if your area has the facilities to do so. One thing you can do is find out from your local council how you can recycle the products you are buying and inform your customers how to dispose of it in the best way possible for the environment.

This month we have produced some films using the lovely Eco products from the French company Clayrton’s. 

Julie Introduces the Clayrton’s range – for more details see these links:

Bio Paper Ribbon:

Compostable Wrap:

Jute ribbon:

Jute wrap:

The kraft paper from the OASIS® Floral Products range is recyclable in the paper waste streams and their plastic film is made of BOPP, which can be recycled at supermarkets with carrier bags. A great piece of advice for your customers!

Gift wrapping without cellophane

Tracy Rowbottom

Products used within this video are:

Clayrton’s Grass paper

This is made from 75% recycled fibers and 25% grass fibers. Its manufacturing is environmentally friendly as it requires no chemicals and much less water & energy than usual paper to be produced.

  • 100% Recyclable
  • 100% Reusable
  • 100% Natural
  • Made in Europe
  •  PEFC (certification that promotes sustainable forest management)

RAPID’EAU WaterResistant

  • Reusable
  • Recyclable
  • Waterproof
  • 28% lighter (because of less plastic)
  • Ideal for water-bouquet wrapped with kraft (no cello needed)

Tina Parkes

Products used within this video are:

Twool wool 

Beetroot paper

  • Innovative new eco-friendly product 2022
  • Beetroot paper is a recyclable paper made from 80% paper fibre and 20% beetroot waste.
  • Its composition reduces by 16% its environmental impact.
  • 100% recyclable
  • Origin France guaranteed
  • PEFC (certification that promotes sustainable forest management)
  • Printed with water based ink

Check lists that you can do for your business

It can be a bit daunting to consider everything at one time so just remember you don’t have to do this all at once. Work in sections and why not create a traffic light system to highlight the most urgent changes you need/want to make.

Red– Not doing too well and need to develop

Amber– Good but could improve

Green– Doing well

Once you have established this, then make a time line or a regular diary note of when you can research changes or investigate better options. This way you will feel you are moving forward and you can break up the workload into manageable pieces over a realistic timescale.

Here is a quick list we have put together to help you look at all aspects of your business. 

SubjectsSome things to consider
CustomersDo they know all they can about your products to make informed choices?
Is your information easily accessible through many channels?
Do you provide products they can dispose of or recycle easily?
Do staff have the knowledge to engage the customers?
FlowersAre you buying seasonally? Can you improve that?
Are you using sustainable flower food?
LocalWhen was the last time you checked local suppliers, are there new options available to you for both flowers and giftware/add ons?
Can you amalgamate deliveries better to cut down on the number of deliveries with better planning?
Fair tradeSeek out the Fair trade options
Flower wholesaleResearch your growers and spend a little time expanding your knowledge
Ask about the sustainable accreditations for your orders
WasteCan you split your waste? Starting with Green, Plastic and Cardboard. Talk to your waste company or research green waste disposal/compost in your area
WaterCan you reuse any water?
Could you change your cleaning solutions to a more sustainable one?
Be aware of what you put down the sink in terms of both particles and chemicals
ElectricCan you change bulbs to LED?
Does your energy supplier support green alternative energy projects?
TransportCould your consider your next van to be electric?
Do you plan your routes efficiently? Could you use an app to bring your mileage down?
WagesWhen was the last time you checked wages? Are they currently up to date and fair?
Funeral wasteHave you talked to your funeral director lately about more sustainable practices?
Can you organise collections of trays and bases for reuse?
Can you offer alternative designs and provide images for reference?
BankingWhat green polices does your bank have?

Think about who you need to talk to, You can make a difference through your buying power and communication.

Below is a link to our sustainability checklist, some simple dos and don’ts and assistance to identify the labelling used on packaging from suppliers.

What is new in Sustainability?

Since starting the sustainable role early in 2022, we have been busy talking to and connecting various people who are making a difference in the floral industry with sustainable issues. Connecting organisations and people together is a great way to open conversations and hopefully help move sustainable practices forward faster.

Here are a just a few interactions from the last few months…..


This is an interesting development which modulates the rhizosphere to create organic plant growth stimulation. This formula for feeding plants has been developed and boasts:

Root development

Plant growth stimulation

Yield increase

Organic line cleaner

Increased profits

More Disease resistant plants

We have been working with the team to connect them to UK flower farmers who are positive about trials so far. Certified organic this could be an exciting product for UK growers!

Where we have been since August…

Strawberry Hill flower festival – Flowers from the Farm displayed British flowers with no floral foam in some fabulous work. We met like minded, passionate people about sustainable floristry.

IFTF Holland  – The international trade fair where we made lots of new connections as well as met up with established friends who we hope to work with in the future, to keep on top of environmental issues within floristry!

Ongoing work…….

Within the role of Sustainable Officer there has been a lot of networking and gathering information on your behalf. We are hoping to share with you new developments as they come through via these newsletters.

There are so many companies in the floral world that have sustainability at the top of their agenda and we can’t wait to share more as we move forward.

We are currently engaging with:

Chrysal, OASIS® Floral Products, Clayrton’s, British Growers, Shane Connolly, Fleurop, Interflora, Crematoriums, Funeral director associations, Colleges, Flowers from the farm, Fairtrade, MPS and Lets Grow, Bio Cat, Sustainable floristry network and BFA Education and training committee. By being a part of the conversation we will bring you news as and when it happens!

Coming up next time…..

A focus on growers from British, Dutch and around the world, sharing what certification to look for and letting you know.

Contact us

If you have any hints, tips, mechanics or adaptions you have made and want to share them with us then get in touch by emailing

Leave a comment

Get the latest updates delivered directly to your Inbox!