Remembrance poppies go plastic-free for first time in major recyclable redesign

Remembrance poppies will be plastic-free and recyclable for the first time this year in a move to reduce single-use plastics, Warren Nettleford has more

For more than a century, wearing a poppy has been a symbol of remembrance of the First World War, but this year the iconic red flower will be plastic-free for the first time.

Britons will be able to buy the 100% paper version from thousands of volunteers across the UK or from major supermarkets from Thursday.

They will also be able to purchase existing plastic poppies, which can be recycled at Sainsbury’s supermarkets, as the charity looks to clear out its remaining stock.

The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal calls for the public to wear a poppy as a show of solidarity towards the armed forces community in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday, on November 12.

It also raises vital funds to support veterans and serving personnel as well as their families all year round.

Remembrance poppies throughout the decades. Credit: PA

The paper poppy, which is half made from offcuts from the production of coffee cups, was in the works for three years.

Each flower features a black centre embossed with the words “Poppy Appeal”, and no longer has a plastic stem or centre.

They can be fastened with a pin in the stem, worn in a buttonhole or a stick-on version is available.

It is the first redesign of the poppies since the mid-1990s and the latest in a series of designs since it was first used to raise funds in 1921 following the First World War.

There have been more than 10 versions of the poppy throughout the years, including those from hand-crafted red silk with wire stems in the 1920s and a cardboard “austerity poppy” in wartime in the 1940s.

All funds raised will support serving personnel, veterans and their families in a range of ways, from help with the cost of living, mental wellbeing and housing, to support with recovery after trauma or illness.

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