CHRISTMAS crackers have come under fierce criticism by campaigners for the damage they do to the environment.
The Final Straw Solent, a campaign run in association with The News, is calling for businesses and families to boycott Christmas crackers, describing the contents inside as a ‘complete waste’.
While the inevitably sub-par Christmas joke and colourful hats can be recycled, it is the little toys and the crackers themselves that often end up on the scrapheap.
Bianca Carr, the co-founder of the campaign, is urging people to either ditch Christmas crackers or find some that are better for the environment.
‘The amount of waste that comes from these crackers is insane,’ she said.
‘When you think about the little toys inside them like the frogs and so on, most of those typically don't make it off the table before going into the bin.
‘What's more, there are some crackers themselves that cannot be recycled, in particular the ones with glitter on.
‘Because of this, I think we all need to reconsider whether we actually need crackers at Christmas.’
Earlier this year, John Lewis and Waitrose pledged to replace the plastic toys in their Christmas crackers with metal, glass and paper alternatives.
It is believed that this change alone will save on eight tonnes of plastic waste each year.
Since The Final Straw Solent called for the boycott, The Bluebell Inn and The Brookfield Hotel – both in Emsworth – have decided to ditch the crackers this year.
But Bianca says there are also a number of environmentally-friendly options available.
‘We're certainly not trying to destroy the Christmas cracker industry,’ she said.
‘But we absolutely want to change their mindset on what goes inside it.
‘The ones with things you can actually use, like nail clippers, are actually much better because people at Christmas parties and family functions are much more likely to take them home.
‘At the end of the day it's down to families and businesses to vote with their feet and help us to make a difference.’