Remembrance poppies set to be plastic free and recyclable in a move to reduce single-use plastics
But this year, for the first time, remembrance poppies will be plastic free and recyclable in a move to reduce single-use plastics.
Leeds D Day veteran Jack Mortimer, who is 100, will be among the first to wear the new poppy when he is presented with his later today.
Mr Mortimer, from Seacroft, was just 20 when he volunteered for the 12th Ordnance Beach detachment, landing on Sword Beach on June 6, 1944.
He has vivid memories of D-Day: “There were thousands and thousands of ships on either side of us, loads of vehicles, tanks and artillery. It was dangerous, there were snipers all around. It was noisy, smoky, and smelly, and I saw lots of casualties.
“When I see people wearing a poppy, I think of all those we lost on D-Day.
"The Poppy Appeal means everything to me, I love the new plastic-free version, but while the poppies have changed, the meaning stays the same. Wearing your poppy shows you care, and that the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces community will never be forgotten."
This year’s plastic-free poppy is the first redesign of the symbol of remembrance in 28 years, but there have been more than ten versions of the poppy since 1921, from hand-crafted red silk versions in the 1920s, through to a cardboard ‘austerity poppy’ in wartime in the 1940s and onwards to cotton, paper and plastic examples.
The British public will be able to buy the plastic-free version from thousands of volunteers across the UK or from major supermarkets from today.
They will also be able to purchase existing poppies with plastic, which can be recycled at Sainsbury’s supermarkets, as the charity looks to clear out its remaining stock.
The annual campaign 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, which falls on November 12 this year.
It also raises vital funds to support veterans, serving personnel and their families all year round.
Celebrities including actress Dame Joanna Lumley, singer and presenter Mica Paris MBE and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth will be showing their support for the new design, the British Royal Legion said.
The charity said it has been developing the plastic-free poppy for the past three years as part of its efforts to become more sustainable and reduce its use of single-use plastic.
The new flowers are made from 100 per cent paper, produced from a blend of renewable fibres from responsible sources, which can be recycled in household collections.
The poppies feature a black centre embossed with the words “Poppy Appeal”, and no longer have 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.