October 25, 2023
To celebrate James Cropper unveiled a 3ft interpretation of the Royal British Legion’s new plastic-free poppy at its Kendal paper mill.
The plastic free poppy is made from a blend of renewable fibres including recovered from paper coffee cup production via James Cropper’s CupCycling facility.
This year’s Poppy Appeal has officially launched with the first ever plastic-free poppy made entirely from James Cropper paper, created in Cumbria.
Working with the Royal British Legion (RBL), and design consultancy Matter, the paper poppy will reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent, is free from single-use plastic and can be recycled in ordinary paper recycling collections.
To celebrate the launch of the Poppy Appeal, James Cropper commissioned Yorkshire-based paper engineer and paper cut designer, Sarah-Louise Matthews to create a 3ft interpretation of the paper poppy. This week, the artwork was proudly installed in the Kendal mill entrance to welcome all visitors. Managing Director, Richard Bracewell attended the unveiling with Master Colour Blender, Tony Bellas who creates the poppy red colour for the paper. They were also joined by members of the James Cropper team who have served in the armed forces.
James Cropper has launched a local initiative - inviting the community to create their own poppy using James Cropper paper. The creations will also be displayed in the paper mill’s reception.
The poppy paper is made from a blend of renewable fibres from responsible sources, 50 per cent of which has been recovered from paper coffee cup production via James Cropper’s CupCycling facility.
The design is part of RBL’s commitment to reducing single-use plastic in all its activities in a drive to be economical, sustainable, and less impactful to the environment. The new poppy, which is available now, maintains the iconic poppy design and leaf shape and can be fastened with a pin, inserted into a buttonhole, or stick on versions are available.
This year’s appeal marks 45 years of our partnership with the Royal British Legion, which we are incredibly proud of. Back in 1978 the RBL contacted us looking for a colour-fast and biodegradable paper alternative to the fabric poppy. Even back then, the request was ahead of its time because RBL wanted to make certain that going forward the global symbol of remembrance could be easily recycled in parts. Fast-forward to today and we’ve created a 100% recyclable poppy as part of the charity’s commitment to reducing single-use plastic in all its activities in a drive to be economical, sustainable, and less impactful to the environment. Although we are involved each year, we never take for granted what this symbol means to so many families and the country. Everyone at James Cropper is very proud of our long-standing involvement in the production of this British icon, worn the world over as a symbol of respect and remembrance.
Richard Bracewell, Managing Director, James Cropper Paper Products
Each year, James Cropper delivers over three miles (5km) of narrow red and green paper rolls, which are made into millions of poppies, at the RBL and Poppyscotland’s poppy factories.
Other partners for this year’s poppy include Sewtec, who designed and built three bespoke machines to transform the iconic poppy to become plastic free, and University College London (UCL) who conducted a lifecycle analysis of the new paper poppy.
We're proud to have designed a plastic-free poppy that will enable people to show their support for our Armed Forces community in a more sustainable way. We are thankful to our long-standing supplier James Cropper who developed the innovative paper used in the new poppy. The company’s industry-leading technology which reuses waste from the manufacture of coffee cups has ensured the iconic poppy is now made entirely from responsibly sourced materials.
The Royal British Legion’s Executive Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Remembrance, Gary Ryan
With sustainable solutions at the heart of the James Cropper mission, the new poppy contributes to its vision to drive growth of upcycled fibre within the company’s paper products to 50 per cent by 2025: pioneering materials to safeguard our future.
James Cropper’s FibreBlend Upcycled Technology model organises the plethora of fibre blend options available to customers into a clear offer, demonstrating the limitless expertise available to them. From the world’s first technology to upcycle used coffee cups to the industry leading incorporation of used jeans into fully recyclable paper for packaging - transforming waste into beautiful paper and packaging is at the core of the FibreBlend Upcycled Technology mission.
The plastic-free poppy is now available for the 2023 Poppy Appeal alongside remaining stocks of the current poppy, which can be returned to Sainsbury’s stores for recycling.
John MacDonald, Design Director at Matter said: ”We didn’t want to simply reduce single use plastic, but to eliminate it completely. Paper offers a single-material solution that can be easily recycled, as well as offering a bold, elegant approach for the next generation of poppies. Working with James Cropper has ensured the new poppy is made with beautiful and sustainable papers, delivering the quality a remembrance occasion deserves.
John MacDonald, Design Director at Matter