UMN Startup Launches Sustainable Floral Foam Blocks

David Goldfeld with sustainable floral foam block.

The floral industry relies on green floral foams to keep flowers fresh during transfer. However, these foams contain toxins, including carcinogens, and microplastics that don’t dissolve. UMN startup Phoam Labs (previously known as BKB Floral Foam) was founded to provide a solution: a sustainable alternative made from renewable feedstocks.

Phoam Labs' product is based on research conducted by David Goldfeld, Marc Hillmyer, and Philip Dirlam at the NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers at the University. Goldfeld has since left the University to serve as chief technology officer for Phoam Labs, which he established alongside florist Dundee Butcher and her husband Ian.

Phoam Labs plans to launch its product to florists around the world in the summer of 2023.