Cornwall pupils quiz Comic Relief on new 100% plastic-free Red Nose

6th October 2020

  • Earlier today primary school pupils got an exclusive first look of the new Nose and the opportunity to ask Comic Relief questions about its creation

  • School children questioned Comic Relief co-founder, Richard Curtis, and Chief Executive Ruth Davison, alongside science, natural history and environmental broadcaster, Liz Bonnin, and TV presenter and performer, Ore Oduba who hosted the virtual event

  • The discussion covered single-use plastic, the environment, the new Nose design, how it feels and where it is made

  • The new plant-based Nose will be available to buy from January 2021 ahead of Red Nose Day launch but schools can pre-order their fundraising pack from today

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Earlier today school children in Cornwall were given an exclusive opportunity to grill Comic Relief on its new 100% plastic-free, plant based Red Nose, after writing to the charity to ask them to re-think its use of plastic back in 2019.

Today it has been announced that Comic Relief and its long-standing partner, Sainsbury’s, have created a new Red Nose from bagasse, a natural by-product of sugarcane, chosen for its widely celebrated sustainable qualities.

Pupils aged between five and 10 at Fourlanesend Community Primary School were the first of many to voice their concerns and ask Comic Relief for a plastic free Nose. Comic Relief and Sainsbury’s had been researching more sustainable materials for some time, but hearing their voices encouraged the charity to step it up a gear with its sustainability plans.

To thank the school children for being environmental champions and for encouraging the charity to work faster on finding a new material for the Nose, Comic Relief invited them to be one of the very first in the country to see, feel and try on the new Nose, and get all their questions answered.

They quizzed Comic Relief co-founder, Richard Curtis, and Chief Executive, Ruth Davison, alongside science, natural history and environmental broadcaster, Liz Bonnin, and TV presenter and performer, Ore Oduba, on topics ranging from the design, where they are made, how you recycle them and their favourite character.

Lauren, a pupil, aged nine, at Fourlanesend Community Primary School, said: “We were very excited and happy to be take 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, and it was really interesting to ask about where the Noses are manufactured this morning. Today will be something each and everyone one of us will always remember and be very proud of."

Rebecca Norton, Head Teacher at Fourlanesend Community Primary School, said: “The email pinged into my inbox and there it was, Comic Relief actually asking the school if we could support them in their plastic-free Nose announcement. I was amazed, I just couldn’t believe they’d taken it on, that they’d made plastic-free Noses! The children are so delighted to know that they’ve been listened to, and that they’ve played a role and were a driving force in this change."

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.

Richard Curtis, Comic Relief co-founder, said: “When we started Comic Relief, we always hoped we would play a part in creating a generation of children just like the pupils at Fourlanesend Community Primary School. I hope they feel really proud of themselves and remember for the rest of their lives, that if they care about something, they should speak out about it and people will listen. They can, and have, made a real difference. We now have these brilliant new plastic-free Noses that we’re really proud of as we take an incredibly strong step forwards on our sustainability journey and continue to change lives in the UK and around the world.

“The children really brought their A-game today, asking us about where the Noses were made, if we’ve thought of making a Red Nose Day mask, if there is still plastic in the rest our merchandise range, and even if we like wearing the Noses! I’m thankful we had all the answers as they know their stuff and we really wanted to do their questions justice."

Liz Bonnin, science, natural history and environmental broadcaster said: “We all have a responsibility to make changes to the way we live so that we can protect our planet. We can change through our behaviours and lifestyle choices, but also through making our voices heard, and that’s why I’m really delighted to have been on this panel today - these children are leading by example, by calling for Red Noses to be made out of non-plastic material.

“The new Nose is a massive step in the right direction, and is going to make a difference to our plastic waste problem and to how much plastic enters the ocean every year. I’m definitely going to enjoy wearing one, not only because they are far more comfortable than the original Noses, but because I am supporting the call for us to do things better, so that our planet is given the helping hand it needs, and that’s in no small part down to the fantastic, passionate environmental champions at Fourlanesend Community Primary School."

Ore Oduba, TV presenter and performer said: “It really is great to see that a whole school can send in letters and emails and hold Comic Relief to account. It’s their futures we’re talking about, so it’s empowering to see them make a difference here. Red Noses put such a smile on your face when you see other people wearing them, but now you’ve got a glow in yourself knowing that these are plastic-free, that they are not producing waste."

The Red Nose first launched in 1988 when Comic Relief founders, Sir Lenny Henry and Richard Curtis, wanted to create a symbol for the charity and it’s first event. Thirty-two years later, the Red Nose has raised over £70million for good causes, helping to change countless lives in the UK and all over the world. Comic Relief has raised over £1.3 billion since it began.

Comic Relief and Sainsbury’s are committed to developing the material of the Nose year on year, with the goal being to create a Nose that is compostable at home in the near future.

Judith Batchelar, Director of Sainsbury’s Brand, said: “Sainsbury’s first started selling the iconic Red Nose in 1999 and we have been working with Comic Relief to make and sell the Nose since 2009. We are proud of how far we’ve come in that time and are pleased with the millions of pounds that have been raised for the charity to help the most vulnerable people in the UK and abroad.

“Sainsbury’s has long been committed to looking for new and innovative ways to be more sustainable and we’ve worked hard to develop a plastic free Nose for 2021. We’re excited that this year’s Nose will be made from plant-based materials and have even higher hopes for the Nose of 2022."

Ruth Davison, Chief Executive of Comic Relief, said: “Schools and the brilliant work they do to support vital causes are so important to Comic Relief. I was thrilled to be able to join today’s panel and meet some of the amazing children who helped write the letter that made its way to my desk back in 2019 and to answer their questions - they came up with some great ones! “Creating a sustainable Nose was a lot of hard work, but we’re proud of our fantastic new plastic-free, plant-based Nose that we’ve produced for Red Nose Day 2021. I hope everyone enjoys them."

For highlights from the school conference and more information, including how to be one of the first to get your hands on a new Nose or to pre-order a school fundraising pack visit in new window)



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Questions asked by the school children include:

  • If you had to pick a red nose to reflect your personality which would you be?

  • Is it just the nose they've removed the plastic from, or will all the other merchandise they sell also be plastic free?

  • Where are the new noses manufactured and why did you make that choice?

  • Where did you get the idea for Mr Bean and have you ever met anyone like him?

  • So Comic Relief has been going since 1988, what is your favourite memory?

  • Have you thought about making a red nose mask?

  • How are you going to encourage people to recycle the new plastic free noses?

  • Do you like wearing the red noses and why?

  • Which is your favourite design for this year’s red nose?

Additional quotes

  • Sian Sutherland, Co-Founder of A Plastic Planet said: "It's great that the iconic Comic Relief Red Nose is no longer made from indestructible plastic that will exist for centuries after this fundraising day is over. This is a big step forward and we hope it doesn't end here. We need Comic Relief to continue to lead others, taking responsibility by making Red Nose Day wholly sustainable, banishing anything plastic and single-use to the past."

  • Tony Bosworth, plastics campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Everyone knows how extensive plastic pollution is and what it does to wildlife so it’s good that the famous Comic Relief nose will be plastic free. We need alternative and better solutions to avoid single-use plastic everywhere and this should be led by industry and government. We look forward to Comic Relief making sure that all of its materials are environmentally friendly."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Comic Relief Media Team 07984 510 473


About Red Nose Day 2021

  • Red Nose Day is back on Friday 19th March 2021 and will aim to bring the UK together to show just how powerful humour can be through the toughest of times

  • It has never felt more important to raise smiles and money for those who are struggling more than ever, as the continued impact of COVID-19 brings unprecedented challenges to many. Money raised by Red Nose Day will help vulnerable people in the UK and around the world

  • Schools can pre-order fundraising packs at

  • Visit or follow @ComicRelief on social media for the latest Red Nose Day content, news and information

About Comic Relief

Comic Relief raises money to support people living incredibly tough lives. Through humour and stories of hope, we’ve shown that people can make a massive difference. We fund hundreds of amazing organisations who are working on the ground to support the most vulnerable people and communities in society including many of those hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis. This includes vulnerable children and young people, people who are homeless or who have been forced to flee their homes, women and families at risk of domestic abuse and those struggling with existing or new mental health problems.

For information about Comic Relief and the work it carries out, please visit

Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)