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Pupil Voice, Participation & Sustainability News

Comic Relief Reveals 100% Plastic-Free Red Nose - thanks to pupil power!

Image of new red noses from comic relief

The new Nose has taken over 18 months to develop, following extensive research and testing into suitable plastic free alternative materials. In keeping with the environmentally friendly theme, the Noses will be available in 10 different characters representing the great outdoors for the public to collect, including a squirrel, fox, badger and more.

Comic Relief and Sainsbury’s had been researching more sustainable materials for some time, when in early 2019, the charity received letters and emails from hundreds of school children from across the country, asking them to create a plastic-free Nose to help reduce single-use plastic waste and protect the environment. Hearing their voices encouraged the charity to step up a gear with their sustainability plans.

One school, Fourlanesend Community Primary School in Cornwall, received the backing of Sir David Attenborough when they wrote to him and shared their alternative Red Nose suggestion. Sir David sent them a handwritten letter which said, “you are perfectly correct to revise the question of replacing plastic products wherever we can, and I hope you get an adequate answer from Comic Relief."

Later today, pupils aged between five and 10 from the school, will be given an exclusive first look at the new Noses and thanked for their environmental ideas and letters. They will meet a virtual panel of guests including Comic Relief co-founder, Richard Curtis, environmental broadcaster, Liz Bonnin, and host TV presenter, Ore Oduba, to discuss their views on the new Nose, why reducing single-use plastic waste is important and further steps we can all take.

Richard Curtis, Comic Relief co-founder, said: “I’m extremely pleased that we have created the first plastic-free nose for Red Nose Day 2021 – it is amazing what you can create from a sugar cane product. Our new Nose marks a strong step on our sustainability journey. We are committed to designing a more sustainable Nose every year, while continuing to make them attractive and fun, and recognise we still have a lot of work to do in creating the perfect model.

“But this journey is an exciting one and we thank all the children and supporters who let us know they wanted a plastic free option. I’m delighted to give the environmental champion pupils at Fourlanesend Community Primary School the first look at the new Noses. Children are at the heart of our Red Nose Day campaign and their opinions are really important to us. The work we support at Comic Relief is more important than ever in the face of COVID-19 - so let’s hope we sell a lot of Noses and continue to help to changes a lot of lives at home and abroad."

Rebecca Norton, Head Teacher at Fourlanesend Community Primary School, said: “Plastic is an issue our children care passionately about as they see so much plastic waste wash up on the shores of our beaches. They are such huge supporters of Comic Relief and really wanted to see the Nose change so they could continue supporting the work they do. The children were the driving force behind contacting our local press in 2019 and writing to Comic Relief and can’t quite believe this has all happened!

“They have their questions ready for the conference and will not be going easy on the panellists! One of the most important things to come from this for me, is that the children have been listened too – this has really shown them that they can make a difference and should always stand up for what they believe in.”

Lauren, a pupil, aged nine, at Fourlanesend Community Primary School, said: “We’re very excited and happy to be taking part in the conference. We’re such a small school, but despite that, we’ve been able to do something that is going to make a really big difference to the world we live in.

“Here at school, and in our local community we are very passionate about reducing our use of plastic, so it’s a really good feeling knowing that what we’ve done has encouraged Comic Relief to create a plastic-free Nose. We were all so excited when we heard the news; it’s something each and everyone one of us will always remember and be very proud of."

For more information and to access recordings from the conference visit the Comic Relief website

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