The biggest one-day street collection in Europe is being staged across London on Poppy Day to raise £1 million for Britain’s Armed Forces community.

Organisers have redesigned the traditional poppy emblem so for the first time it is free of any plastic — made entirely of paper and can go into household recycling.

Television presenter Ross Kemp is lending support on November 2 .

“Picking up your plastic-free poppy is helping reach the target of raising £1 million in a single day,” said Kemp.

“The money will help the Royal British Legion in its vital work supporting members of the Armed Forces in need all year round.”

The 59-year-old east London actor and author, who grew up in Barking, joins service personnel for the Poppy Appeal organised by the Royal British Legion to raise £1 million in 12 hours.

This year’s poppy is the first redesign of the iconic symbol of Remembrance in a generation since it was first used to raise funds in 1921. 

The plastic-free poppy is 100 per cent paper and recycled. The stem, which used to be plastic, can be fastened with a pin or through a buttonhole. There is also a stick-on version.

The aim is to reduce the Legion’s impact on the environment, while TfL is running eco-friendly transport with three electric and two hybrid buses wrapped in poppy vinyl. 

Plastic-free poppies have been on the drawing board for three years to reduce single-use plastic.

They are made from a blend of renewable fibres “from responsible sources”, half coming from the offcuts from production of paper coffee cups.

Up to 1,000 Armed Forces personnel from the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force are joining collectors handing out poppies and helping collect donations at National Rail and London Underground stations and in the streets.

London Poppy Day is from 7am until 7pm on Thursday, November 2. Details are online at

Poppy Appeal director Andy Taylor-Whyte said: “Wearing a poppy shows you care and that the sacrifice of serving Armed Forces personnel and veterans will never be forgotten.

“We invite people to come and say hello to members of the military community who are out collecting through the day, perhaps stop for a moment of reflection.”

Military bands performing at stations across London include Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas at Canary Wharf Plaza, the Band of the Household Cavalry at Waterloo and the Band and Bugles of The Rifles at Victoria.

Britain’s Got Talent winner Lance Corporal Richard Jones is also performing his magic on the Circle Line from 10am. 

Recorded voices of Jools Holland and Ken Bruce will be played on loudspeakers on the Underground and in Network Rail stations.