Beyond Plastic: Sustainable Materials for Wrapping Bouquets

By Debra Prinzing, PFCI
Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of Florists’ Review

The term “sustainability” has moved into every channel of floristry – from products used by commercial growers to retailers and their customers. Recyclable or compostable product options have been available for much of the past decade and even earlier, say
some manufacturers who supply the marketplace.

It’s just that now, with consumer awareness on the rise, there is more demand for “green packaging” and, thus, the options are becoming more affordable. “Right now, it’s a fair playing field, and the pricing between conventional and sustainable is about the
same,” says Pieter Sluiter, general manager at Koen Pack USA, based in Miami. “That makes it an easier conversation with retailers.”

Changes range from symbolic gestures to radical shifts. For Peterkort Roses, a commercial rose and cut-flower grower in Hillsboro, Ore., the switch in 2019 to wrapping rose bunches in brown butcher paper was important, says Sandra Peterkort Laubenthal, who manages the company’s stall at the Portland Flower Market. “I kept hearing from florists about the waste in the floral industry, and it was starting to get to people,” she explains.

Peterkort had been wrapping its 25-stem bunches of hybrid tea roses and 10-stem bunches of spray and garden roses in “sheets of precut plastic,” Laubenthal says. “Now, we use plain brown butcher paper and add a label with our logo. We continue to tie our bunches with cotton string rather than rubber bands – and the cotton string breaks down, too.”

The feedback has been positive. “I think it gives the feeling that we are trying to reduce some of the trash and plastic that florists have to deal with,” Laubenthal says.

Oil-based v. Plant-based features, (c) KoenPack

Read the full article! Download a free PDF of Beyond Plastic here.

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Debra Prinzing

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American-grown flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national conversation that encourages consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases. Debra is the producer of SlowFlowers.com, the weekly "Slow Flowers Podcast" and the American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4) campaign. Debra is a Florists' Review Contributing Editor for which she produces the "Slow Flowers Journal" section. She is author of 10 books, including Slow Flowers and The 50 Mile Bouquet.

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