Silent night?: Christmas crackers to lose their 'crack' in bid to help the environment

6 December 2023, 19:55

Alliance National say the crackers will still make a sound from "the audible crack of cardboard".
Alliance National say the crackers will still make a sound from "the audible crack of cardboard". Picture: Alamy
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

Christmas dinner may be quieter this year as a major supplier of the festive accessories has removed the 'snap' from their recyclable crackers to make the holiday "a celebration of responsibility".

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Alliance National, one of Britain's largest catering suppliers, has announced it will offer "crackless", environmentally friendly crackers to its customers.

This includes care homes, hotels, pubs and restaurants up and down the country.

The company have removed the silver fulminate strips, which give the festive crackers the traditional bang,

The strips have been used since 1860, but are not recyclable.

Alliance National say the recyclable crackers will instead make a sound from "the audible crack of cardboard".

These environmentally friendly crackers will now come with a note to encourage users to "make some noise", before informing customers that they "have removed the snap from this cracker to ensure it is fully recyclable”.

The note adds the change is "part of our journey to make every Christmas a celebration of responsibility".

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On their website, they have reassured customers that they are "doing something right for the environment.

The crackers are fully recyclable.
The crackers are fully recyclable. Picture: Alamy

However, it seems that the quieter crackers are not spreading the festive cheer to some users.

Christopher Snowdon, an author and head of lifestyle and economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, was served the environmentally friendly crackers at a recent lunch, hosted by the Lords and Commons Cigar Club in the House of Lords.

He gave his frosty verdict and said that the crackers were "rubbish" and felt like when "you pull a cracker and they don’t crack and you just think it’s broken".

A spokesman for the House of Lords has confirmed that they will be using the crackers for its banqueting events this Christmas as a "small part" of its commitment to reduce waste.

Customers can buy 50 crackers for under £50 and include paper Christmas tree decorations.

However, there are no paper hats or jokes.

High-street chains, such as John Lewis, are still selling traditional crackers with the festive snap but advise users to remove the silver fulminate strips from their crackers before recycling them.

If left inside the crackers, it can be difficult to dispose of sustainably.