OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability — Frequently Asked Questions

What is Biodegradation?

Biodegradation breaks down molecules by microbes which leaves behind methane gas, CO2 and/or organic matter. The entire mass must be broken down into these three components to be considered biodegradable.

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What is OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability?

OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability is the trusted and high-quality floral foam that has now been formulated to biodegrade. This product has been shown by ASTM D5511 to biodegrade 100 percent within 567 days in biologically active landfill conditions.

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What is the difference between Biodegradability and Enhanced Biodegradability?

The Federal Trade Commission regulates that the term "degradable" only be used for products which completely decompose in no more than one year after customary disposal. The term "enhanced biodegradable" can be used to describe a product which biodegrades 100 percent, but does so in a slightly longer timeframe.

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Who is ASTM?

ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards-developing organizations in the world. ASTM is a not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems, and services.

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Why do ASTM Testing?

Their independent, standardized testing methods allow us to make qualified claims about the biodegradability of our products. With many companies offering 'green' products it has become confusing for consumers to distinguish a genuinely green product and its substantiated claims. ASTM tests are recognized internationally as the benchmark and, specifically, the ASTM D5511 is a test performed by an independent laboratory to verify claims of biodegradability in anaerobic conditions.

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What happens after 567 days?

Our current ASTM test results show the product biodegrades 100 percent within 567 days. With confidence in this product's continued performance, we did not want to delay introduction of this new technology based upon the immediate environmental benefits. We will continue to publish updates on the biodegradation rate as product testing continues.

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What makes OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability biodegradable?

The enhanced foam formulation is designed for modern landfills and attracts microbes that break the foam down into methane, CO2 and organic matter.

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Do other floral foams biodegrade?

A brick of floral foam can be reduced to sand-like granules and is environmentally neutral (no harmful effects.) This degradation (and potential biodegradation) occurs over an unknown period of time — more than 100 years.

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When does the biodegradation process begin?

When the floral foam is put into dirt and comes in contact with microbes the process begins. This process will accelerate in a modern landfill.

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Is there special storage needed?

No, there are no storage requirements for OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability. However, it is recommended that all floral foam be kept dry until use, out of extreme temperatures, and used within 12 months of purchase.

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Will OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability compost?

OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability has not been tested for compostability and therefore no claims regarding compostability can be made at this time. We are working towards further formulations that allow for industrial composting.

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Does it still look, feel and perform like the OASIS® Floral Foam I'm used to?

Yes. OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife maintains all of its attributes including 12-day flower life, density, fast-absorption, color and texture. This Enhanced Biodegradability formulation did not change anything you expect when you use OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife.

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Will all OASIS® Floral Foam products have Enhanced Biodegradability?

The OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife formulation with Enhanced Biodegradability will be used in all OASIS® Floral Products which use premium foam today, including bricks, mache, bouquet holders and designer shapes. All of the plastic parts often coupled with foam can then be recycled and you can feel comfortable disposing of the floral foam in a landfill.

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Why doesn't ADVANTAGE Plus have Enhanced Biodegradability?

We believe that consumers have a choice about the products they use and we will continue to make the current ADVANTAGE Plus formulation available in the near term. There is an extra expense to making foam with Enhanced Biodegradability and therefore we cannot use this formulation and maintain the price point of ADVANTAGE Plus. However, we believe that the environment is more important than cost. And, in the long term we hope to be able to phase out ADVANTAGE Plus foam with your help. The greater the demand for the Enhanced Biodegradable product, the greater our efficiency, and the better your price will be on Enhanced Biodegradable foam.

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Will OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability cost more?

At this time you will not see a price increase on OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability. The foam formulation does have a higher cost but Smithers-Oasis North America has decided to absorb the cost because of the environmental benefits it provides. While it costs us more, it will not cost you more because we believe that is the socially responsible way to get this formulation into the market.

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When will OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability be available?

Floral Foam Maxlife made today already features Enhanced Biodegradability. In the near future our cartons will be made of brown kraft, making our sustainable efforts increasingly visible.

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Will it be available globally?

Smithers-Oasis designs floral foam in a way to meet the market needs. OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife with Enhanced Biodegradability was formulated with the conditions of the modern North American landfill in mind and therefore is the formulation needed to have the product biodegrade in these countries. Other Smithers-Oasis locations worldwide have specialized formulations for their market conditions.

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Will there continue to be more formulations of OASIS® Floral Products?

Yes. As part of the Smithers-Oasis culture we are constantly looking for ways to be an increasingly sustainable company and provide environmentally-friendly products and solutions to our customers.

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What other Smithers-Oasis products are "green"?

  • ECOssentials containers are all biodegrade in a landfill in 180 days
  • OASIS™ Flat Cane, OASIS™ Midollino, OASIS™ Bamboo Easels and OASIS™ Natural Wraps are made of renewable natural materials
  • OASIS™ Raw Muslin and Pastel Wraps are reclaimed materials
  • All OASIS™ glass, plastic containers and cages are recyclable
  • All OASIS™ colored glass is sprayed with a water-based and low VOC paint
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