The Royal Canadian Legion says it’s looking into biodegradable materials for its poppies and wreaths

The Royal Canadian Legion distributes more than 19 million poppies a year, which in turn raises millions of dollars in donations to support veterans and their families.

But as concern about single-use plastics rise, some people are opting for alternatives to the ubiquitous plastic poppy. 

Heather Sealey, owner of the Itsy-Bitsy Yarn Store in Whitehorse, said there’s demand for more sustainable options. She recently started selling felted poppies, commission-free, on behalf of a local crafter.

The legion holds a trademark on the poppy when used as a symbol of remembrance, which includes “any colour or configuration.”

While there is no rule against people making and wearing their own poppy, commercial activities are not allowed, and it was not long before the legion contacted Sealey with an order to stop selling them.

“I do find it a bit frustrating because people do want this alternative option instead of a disposable option … I thought it was a great idea to do fundraising for the legion but I’m not sure going forward what we can do.” 


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