Christmas crackers are synonymous with the festive season but can produce a huge amount of waste. In the UK alone, it is estimated that over 100 million crackers are pulled each year, amounting to a huge quantity of waste. While the outer cardboard portions of Christmas crackers can be recycled (unless covered in glitter), their contents are generally considered non-recyclable.
There are a number of alternatives:
1. Make your own – a guide for how to make your own plastic-free crackers can be found at “How to Make Plastic Free Christmas Crackers” (Thoroughly Modern Grandma, 2018).
2. Buy reusable crackers – a company called “Keep This Cracker” (2018) are selling the outer sleeve of Christmas crackers which you can fill yourself. These can then be reused year on year, essentially helping to reduce waste.
3. Buy plastic-free crackers – more eco-friendly crackers are now widely available online so are well worth having a look for. If you don’t have the time to make your own, these may be a good sustainable alternative to normal crackers. John Lewis and Waitrose have also pledged to stop using plastic in the production of their Christmas crackers in 2020, so hopefully this a sign of good things to come.