New design has a 40% smaller carbon footprint
One of the country’s most recognised charity symbols is going green.
The poppy will go plastic free when it launches its annual fundraising drive in October.
Instead it will be made entirely from paper as the Royal British Legion moves ahead with the push for a plastic-free society.
The new poppies are fully recyclable and the paper is made from 50 per cent single-use coffee cup waste.
More than 30 million poppies were distributed across the UK last year as part of the annual Poppy Appeal.
The last remaining plastic poppies will be used this October and November but will not be replaced.
Over the last three years the charity has worked with design consultants, manufacturers and taken environmental advice from scientists at University College London.
It is the first substantial change to the poppy’s design in nearly 30 years.
Andy Taylor-Whyte, Poppy Appeal director at the RBL, said: “We are so proud to unveil our plastic-free poppy, which is completely recyclable, and hope that this will encourage more people than ever to take part in this year’s Poppy Appeal and show support to our armed forces community.
“After years of work and collaboration with our partners designing a new poppy, creating new paper and machinery and road-testing it for durability and colour-fastness, we have been able to eliminate single-use plastic and create a poppy that is an enduring symbol of respect and remembrance as well as being more planet-friendly.”
Paola Lettieri, a professor from UCL, said: “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.”