I think it’s time we ditched red noses.

Red noses are the main symbol of the charity Comic Relief and its biannual telethon Red Nose Day. To ensure regular and repeated sales different noses are designed and released every two years, recently in multiple styles and forms. This year Comic Relief announced that the noses would be plastic-free for the first time.

From my recollection (and bear in mind I haven’t interacted with one since childhood) the noses were uncomfortable, worn once for photographs and then never again. Despite best intentions to keep them they invariably ended up in the bin.

Even if the noses have ditched plastic, these items are still single-use. They still promote a throwaway society in the name of social good.

Sadly all this year’s noses have been manufactured, and the vast majority of them will be thrown away, along with packaging, display and promotional materials. The noses are not compostable. By buying less we can send a message to make fewer noses next year, or even to scrap them altogether.

What can they do instead? How about investing in an app that allows users to digitally add red-noses to photos or video?


Red Nose Day is on Friday, 19 March this year.