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Floral tribute for the Queen in Green Park
Photograph: Getty Images

Eco warriors are removing the plastic from floral tributes to the Queen in Green Park

Blooms last longer if left without their plastic packaging

India Lawrence
Written by
India Lawrence

Thousands of mourners travelled to central London this weekend to pay respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday September 8 after 70 years on the British throne. Many left bouquets of flowers, and even marmalade sandwichesin the royal parks and outside Buckingham Palace, making the places awash with technicolour blooms. 

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But the floral tribute didn't come without its environmental impact, and some well-wishers in Green Park were spotted removing the plastic wrappers from the hundreds of bouquets and putting the plastic in bin bags.

A viral tweet showed the group of eco-warriors getting stuck in. Its caption said: ‘Amazing crowd helping to remove plastics from flowers in Green Park.’

One commenter who was there added: ‘It was such a great thing to be involved in. Spontaneous but everyone just mucked in to get it done!!’

While another said: ‘I stayed for three hours doing this, a small collection of people started and it grew and grew from there, it was wonderful and such a privilege to arrange so many flowers and cards.’

Earlier today, well-wishers were urged not to leave any more marmalade sandwiches outside the palace or in the park, as the high number of Paddington Bear’s favourite snack being left for Her Majesty has reportedly been attracting rats. People have also been asked not to leave teddy bears, lit candles or balloons. 

A statement on the Royal Parks website says: ‘In the interests of sustainability, we ask visitors to only lay organic or compostable material.’

The Royal Parks added that removing the plastic makes the flowers last longer and lets them compost more easily.

The flowery memorial is certainly a spectacle worth seeing and something we’re not likely to experience again on this scale.

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