Royal British Legion launches Poppy Appeal

The Royal British Legion launches its 2023 Poppy Appeal today, with the public able to get hold of its newly designed plastic-free poppy for the first time.

This year’s plastic-free poppy is the first redesign of the iconic symbol of Remembrance in a generation and is the latest in a series of designs since the poppy was first used to raise funds in 1921. 

The plastic-free poppy is made from 100% paper and easily recycled in household collections. The innovative new poppy design features iconic poppy shape, with a black centre embossed with ‘Poppy Appeal’, and a leaf with a crease. It no longer has a plastic stem or centre, and it can be fastened with a pin in the stem, worn in a buttonhole, or a stick-on version is available.

The Royal British Legion has been developing the plastic-free poppy for the past three years, in collaboration with expert partners, as it works to reduce its use of single-use plastic and be economical, sustainable, and less impactful to the environment. 

It has been created from bespoke red and green paper produced from a blend of renewable fibres from responsible sources, 50 per cent of which come from the offcuts created during the production of paper coffee cups.

The launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal marks the start of the national period of Remembrance, when the nation wears the poppy and reflects on the service and sacrifice of the Armed Forces. 

Members of the public will be able to get their poppy – the original version or the new plastic-free version - from thousands of volunteers across the UK, or from major supermarkets. 

All funds raised from the Poppy Appeal will be used by Royal British Legion to 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.

52-year-old Terry Barnett, previously served in the Army within the Royal Corps of Signals for almost five years, leaving service in 1992.
In 2019, Terry was in desperate need of help, having lost his job, his family and falling into debt. He was in a bad place and was completely substance dependent. He finally decided to acknowledge his addiction and reach out and called The Royal British Legion. Terry is now marking his fourth year of sobriety and supports other veterans as a Substance Misuse Practitioner. Terry said:

“All the little things the Legion have supported with have made a big difference. They lifted the pressures and worries I had off my shoulders with their support. I couldn’t have come this far without the RBL, and I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the West Midlands team!

“I love the new plastic-free version, but while the poppies have changed, the meaning stays the same. The poppy means so much to me as it represents the support I received and shows the Armed Forces that I care, and that the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces community will never be forgotten.”

Director of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, Andy Taylor-Whyte added: “We want to encourage as many people as possible to get a poppy this year and show their gratitude and support to those in the Armed Forces whose service and sacrifice should never be forgotten.

"We’re so proud that this year, we have our new plastic-free poppy too, so that the public can wear this poignant symbol of Remembrance, with less impact on the environment. 

“Since the first Poppy Appeal in 1921 to today, public donations have provided a lifeline for service people and their families, and last year, we helped more than 27,000 people in the Armed Forces community.

“As a veteran myself, I am grateful to the public for giving what they can to support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal this year.  Donations enable us to support the Armed Forces community past and present, all year round, and shows them that wearing a poppy shows you care.”

To find out more or to donate to the Poppy Appeal you can visit


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