So this weekend is another one of those dates when everybody makes a last minute dash for the flower shops and online florists – yes it’s Mother’s Day! Now of course absolutely every mummy deserves a lovely bunch of flowers – I favour a small bunch of daffs personally, and a lovely lie in. But if you want to buy your mum something a little more extravagant, you may be in the habit of hot-footing it to the supermarket, garage forecourt or even going online and ordering via a delivery service.
With the supermarkets are all going crazy with their Mother’s Day deals, and the online delivery services, flinging gazillions at their Google ad word budgets to get top spot, it is hard to decide which way to go. What you can absolutely guarantee is that they will be wrapped in a frightening amount of ‘cellophane’. They will all say that this is necessary for product preserving reasons, but as we all know, there is usually rather a lot of it, and certainly more than is needed. And I think most of us would rather see this most beautiful and natural of products plastic-free, rather than engulfed in reams of crinkly polypropolene that will have to go straight into the landfill bin!
But Cellophane is Biodegradable?
Now, you may have heard that ‘cellophane’ is in fact biodegradable. And indeed the original form of ‘cellophane’ was made from cellulose – a plant-based material which is ultimately biodegradable. However, ‘cellophane’ type packaging these days is almost always made from polypropylene, not in any way biodegradable and pretty much impossible to recycle! So unless you see something that explicitly says that it is ‘home compostable’ do not buy it!
So what can we do? Well to be perfectly honest, there is no easy solution. We have found absolutely no major retailer who has addressed the situation at all, online or the bricks and mortar variety. But we have found some options for you!
By far the simplest solution is to pop down to your local florist in town and buy your flowers from him or her directly. You can ask him then to wrap your flowers in paper as opposed to plastic. If you need your flowers to be delivered, they will often offer that option too as long as delivery is fairly local and they don’t have to use a separate service. If you search for your local florist online, they may offer plastic-free online. A lot of them even use recycled paper and natural raffia too! Lovely. Inevitably they won’t compete with the supermarkets on price, but it’s all about priority and many mums would rather have a half a dozen blooms wrapped in lovely natural packaging, than a huge bouquet wrapped in plastic! So happy days!
Search for Plastic-Free
Although we searched for plastic-free florists online and several appeared in our search, when we interrogated their admittedly beautiful, sustainable and ethical websites and businesses for details, we found that none of them were actually completely plastic-free. We could see that they had good intentions and had invested significant sums in doing so, but whilst they had managed to significantly reduce their plastic, to say they would be plastic-free would be inaccurate.
One that did stand out to us was Blooming Cow Flowers who are the only one we found who use actual biodegradable cellophane. This lady has decided that the environment is king and has sourced natural cellophane to wrap her beautiful bouquets in. The packaging is more expensive for her, but you can pop it in your compost heap to naturally degrade! However, like many small florists, she only delivers within a five-mile radius of her location.
The same went for several others that we found in our search who also deliver ‘plastic-free’. Essentially they are local florists and only deliver locally. But if you live in Alton in Hampshire look up Blooming Cow, if you live in or near Eastbourne, check out Grand Flowers and if you live in or Perranporth in Cornwall, give Floral Fancies a shout. Mustard Seed Flowers deliver in the Macclesfield area, and Little Bud in London have everything covered, and even deliver on bikes! So have a Google and see what you can find local to you!
Below are other ‘local’ plastic-free delivery options for you! If you know of any other local florists, who are provide a plastic free option, let us know and we will add them to our list:
Perranporth, Truro – Floral Fancies – 01872 575005
Alton – Blooming Cow –
London – Little Bud
National Delivery Options
In terms of national delivery options, the best we were found were these – all working on the plastic issue, and reducing it as much as humanly possible bearing in mind the transportation issues. They do all look beautifully sustainable, relatively locally produced and ethical, with plastic minimalised!
Grown in the Scilly Isles as the name would suggest, their product is as plastic-free as they believe it currently can be. They have replaced plastic sleeves with paper sleeves, and clearly, spend a lot of time and effort trying to address the plastic issue. Like many, they have decided that biodegradable plastic doesn’t address the problem at present, so just use as little as they possibly can.
The Real Flower Company grows beautifully scented flowers ethically and sustainably in the UK and has a ‘Fair Trade’ sister farm in Kenya for out of season growing. Their flowers are packaged in boxes but some plastic is used in the process at present we believe. They are not the cheapest on the market, but they are clearly a very high-quality product with high ethical qualities.
The main rule if ordering online for national delivery would be to stay away from the big companies. Even the likes of Bloom & Wild have very little information about their packaging or sustainability although certainly position themselves in that category in their marketing. Interflora, Marks and Spencer, etc are unlikely to offer anything plastic-free at all at the moment, so we would stick to the two above if your budget allows.
Quite often potted plants and kits come with just a cardboard sleeve or completely packaging free in garden centres. It is certainly a more wallet-friendly option if you are having to shop in a supermarket or mainstream retailer, plus they will often last a lot longer than a bunch of flowers. Whether it’s herb garden or a bulb display, it will be the gift that actually does keep on giving, and much easier to find minus the plastic!
Grown Your Own
So, let’s plan ahead to next year shall we and grow our own! Growing a little patch of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, or other spring blooms can be the best way to go! Just find an area of garden or some pots in October, and pop them in, or even later in a pot and keep them inside until you need them in Spring. They’ll be ready for you to cut or present for Mother’s Day and you’ll have the satisfaction of having produced them yourself. Or you may even just want to pop some summer bulbs in a pot ready for flowering at a later date this year – pop some greenery in around it, and then mum has something to look forward to! Definitely a great little project for the kids!
So that’s the best we can offer for now – if you know of more, we’d love to hear, but this is where our research has left us for this year! We’ll be keeping a close eye on this market for sure!
We have done our best to ensure that this article is accurate, however, if anything in it is not, please do contact us and we will make the necessary corrections.