Using Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP), flowers are sealed in an airtight bag, relieving the need for the water that is usually used during transportation from depot to the customer.

By using this packaging, M&S will save over 10,000 litres of water over the Valentine’s period, the equivalent amount used for 40,000 cups of tea.

The MAP process helps slow down the respiration rate of the flowers, and according to M&S “almost puts them to sleep while they are travelling to customers”.

“Then, when they are removed from the bag, cut and put in water, the blooms are woken up,” adds the retailer.

Using MAP also helps to lower M&S’ carbon footprint as each bouquet takes up less space, meaning more can be packed into each lorry.

This initiative, which is being used to distribute the company’s Fairtrade Dozen Roses, will reduce the amount of lorries needed to deliver the bouquets to customers over the Valentine’s Day period by 25%.

M&S flowers expert Charlotte Curtis says: “Both M&S and our customers are always looking for ways to save water and MAP is a great opportunity to significantly reduce consumption in a simple, effective way.

“We’re hopeful that MAP will be a big success that’s rolled out across lots more of our home delivered bouquets in the near future. Trials are already underway and proving successful, to make sure that this happens soon.”

Leigh Stringer

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