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17 July, 2019 /

Going greener: an update on Gardenia’s environmental policy

Paper tape and paper sleeves

Almost a year ago, Gardenia drew up and published its first environmental policy. It was becoming clear that our customers and staff were passionate about doing their bit – so we made a series of pledges, with deadlines, to demonstrate our commitment to treading lightly on the planet and its resources.

Our annual summary from First Mile Recycling shows that in the last 12 months, Gardenia has:

  • Recycled 8,675kg of waste
  • Converted 10,250kg of waste to green energy
  • Generated 5,825 KWH of electricity
  • Saved 83 trees and 12.04 tonnes of CO2

On top of all that, I’m proud to say that we’ve made some significant changes and improvements since I signed off version 1 of our policy in September 2018. At that time, we were already using paper tape (instead of plastic film tape) and FSC-certified paper sleeves (instead of flexible plastic sleeves) for the flowers in our pavement buckets; and we were already recycling all our cardboard. Our cut flowers come packed in paper and cardboard, which we send for recycling back into cardboard in as little as 14 days, using 75% less energy than making new cardboard.

For version 2 of our policy, we are able to add:

  1. Flexible plastics recycling – we can now recycle all flexible plastics, such as cellophane. Customers are welcome to bring any flexible plastic packaging from their Gardenia flowers back to one of our stores for recycling.
  2. Return and re-use – you can also bring back Gardenia ribbon, hand-tie bags and any other packaging. We will re-use what we can and recycle the rest.
  3. Flower and plant waste recycling – this type of waste is now turned into green energy and nutrient-rich fertilizer, saving it from landfill where it would rot and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
  4. A new, greener delivery van – Our newest vehicle is compliant with Euro 6 emissions standards, the aim of which is to reduce levels of harmful exhaust emissions.

Whilst these are great steps forward, there is still more to do. Cellophane continues to be a challenge. Over the last few months we have trialled a number of different eco-friendly alternatives but as yet, nothing has come up to scratch when it comes to protecting flowers during delivery and holding water. We won’t give up though, and I hope to have better news on this front for our next environmental update. In the meantime, save yours and bring it back to us next time you’re passing. We’ll do our best to ensure it doesn’t end up in landfill, or the sea.

You can read our updated environmental policy in full here. If you have any further ideas about how we can make positive changes in this area, we’re all ears.


P.S. Have you visited The Refill Larder at our Teddington store recently? Bring your own containers along to this plastic-free pop-up and fill up on store cupboard essentials, toiletries and cleaning products that will help you avoid single-use plastics.

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