Posted: Thu 26th Oct 2023

Royal British Legion launches recyclable paper poppy, first design change in 28 years

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 26th, 2023

The Royal British Legion has unveiled a new plastic-free poppy, aligning the cherished tradition of remembrance with modern-day environmental responsibility.

Available from October 2023, this innovative poppy is crafted entirely from paper, embodying a significant move towards sustainability.

This initiative stems from a three-year effort to eliminate single-use plastic from the iconic emblem.

The meticulous design journey entailed numerous iterations, eventually favouring paper over bio-based plastics for its recyclability.

The selected material is a unique blend of renewable fibres, 50 percent of which are sourced from coffee cup waste.

The environmental impact of this initiative was thoroughly assessed in collaboration with experts from University College London.

Professor Paola Lettieri from UCL’s Department of Chemical Engineering highlighted, “By replacing the single-use plastic with a paper-based design, and increasing the amount of recycled paper used, UCL found that the new poppy design has a 40% smaller carbon footprint and a similar reduction in its overall impact on the environment.”

This transformation, marking the first redesign in 28 years, resonates with the Royal British Legion’s commitment to environmental sustainability while upholding the poppy’s symbolic significance.

Andy Taylor-Whyte, Director of the Poppy Appeal, expressed pride in this eco-conscious iteration, emphasising the enduring support for the Armed Forces community and the RBL’s dedication to sustainability.

The plastic-free poppy will be available for this year’s Poppy Appeal, alongside the current stock to minimise waste.

These new poppies can be fastened traditionally with a pin or inserted into a buttonhole, providing a greener alternative for those commemorating the services and sacrifices of the Armed Forces community.

Moreover, in an extended effort to recycle, poppies with single-use plastic can be returned to Sainsbury’s stores post the Poppy Appeal for recycling, ensuring that the transition to the plastic-free poppy is as environmentally conscious as possible.

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