They come in dribs and drabs, and sometimes all at once, but every one of these buttons is important to students at one school.
Almost half a million of them have been sent to Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville to create a memorial which reminds people of atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust.
Teacher Mugeni Sumba took up the idea after his students persuaded him.
They were inspired after they watched a film where youngsters built a monument out of 30 million paper clips to commemorate those killed in the Holocaust.
Mr Sumba says: ‘The students really are the brains behind it. The project is about human diversity, which the Holocaust took away. People weren’t seen as people.’
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