At first glance, you wouldn’t know how they’ve been created. The 1,687 remembrance poppies winding around the trunks of trees in a park in Jersey are not your traditional paper poppies. Instead, they’ve been made from plastic bottles that would otherwise have been thrown away.
They’ve been crafted by members of the Women’s Institute (WI) group, who have taken discarded plastic and made it into something beautiful and touching.
Helen Asplet, from the group, explains that they made this number of poppies to represent every man from Jersey who died in WW1. The blue poppies represent French nationals who also left for war, never to return.
What she loves about the poppies is that they represent the individuality of those who died in the war, Asplet explains. “All the bottles [we used] are different - some were small, some were large, and the poppies all turned out a bit different.... and people are different.”
Asplet tells HuffPost UK her group started stockpiling plastic bottles in January and began making them in March ready for 11 November. Around 100 volunteers from Jersey’s 14 WI groups helped to create them.
The poppies were simple to make, Asplet explains. The makers cut off the bottom of the bottle, snipped around the edges to make petal shapes, and then held the plastic over a tea light for a short while to curl up the edges.
These were then decorated using acrylic paint, applied on both sides over a series of Friday and Saturday afternoons.
A small hole was drilled into each individual poppy when they had been made so they could be tied to the trees on local Church grounds for the community to enjoy. Any waste plastic went back into recycling.
The poppies will now be on display for around two weeks.