We all acknowledge the red poppy as a symbol of remembrance every year in November. We buy them from the volunteer poppy sellers but this year has seen an evolutionary change in its design. In 2023 the plastic-free poppy was introduced by the Royal British Legion. It has taken three years to produce a poppy made from paper that you can recycle. The paper used is from renewable fibres. After more than a century since the poppy was adopted as a symbol of remembrance for those fallen during World War I there have been many different versions using different materials from silk to ones made from cardboard during World War II to today’s plastic-free poppies.
The history of the poppy began with a now famous poem written by a Canadian doctor Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in 1915, called ‘In Flanders Fields’. This poem was Inspired by the fields of red poppies that grew in France during War I. In 1921 due to campaigns in America, Canada, Australia and France, the Royal British Legion’s founder Earl Haig was persuaded to adopt the poppy as its symbol. They sold nine million poppies in the first year and began a tradition that has continued for over a hundred years. This year, 40,000 volunteers distributed 40 million poppies.