John Lewis and Waitrose are both removing plastic toys from their Christmas crackers

Crackers have always been a major part of making sure your Christmas celebrations go off with a bang, but from next year, the party tradition will look very different.

Both John Lewis and Waitrose have announced that from next year, their stores will no longer sell crackers with plastic toys inside, as part of the partnerships’s ongoing commitment to cutting down on single-use plastics.

John Lewis crackers
John Lewis & Partners

The plastic items you’d usually find inside will be replaced with games and accessories made from recyclable materials such as metal or paper, and that’s not all. In the interests of not using glitter, John Lewis has announced that new techniques like embossing will be used on the outside of the crackers too.

The changes won’t take place until 2020, but in the meantime the brand has reduced the amount of plastic glitter on its own brand range of Christmas wrapping paper, gift bags and tags, advent calendars and crackers by two-thirds.

It is also offering fill-your-own crackers for those who want to avoid plastic altogether this year, an option which has proved very popular, accounting for one in three packets of crackers sold so far.

Waitrose has already confirmed that by Christmas 2020, its own label cards, wraps, crackers, tags, flowers and plants will either be glitter-free made using an environmentally-friendly alternative.

Fill Your Own Christmas Crackers, Pack of 6, £8, John Lewis & Partners

Dan Cooper, Partner and Head Christmas Buyer at John Lewis commented: ‘Reducing the amount of single-use plastic in products and packaging is really important to us and our customers.

‘One of the challenges I face as a buyer is that we plan 18 months ahead so it takes time for changes to become a reality. I’m always searching for new, more sustainable products which will make Christmas sparkle but won’t end up spoiling our environment.’