John Lewis and Waitrose ban Christmas crackers containing plastic toys

john lewis ban christmas cracker plastic toys
(Image credit: Getty)

John Lewis has announced a ban on plastic-filled Christmas crackers.

The whole John Lewis Partnership, which includes high-street department store John Lewis as well as high-end supermarket Waitrose, will adopt the move in an effort to cut down on plastic usage.

The retailers will stop selling Christmas crackers containing plastic toys, instead opting for games made from recyclable materials, including metal and paper.

However, the move won't be implemented until next year.

The company has also said that they will no longer use plastic glitter to decorate its own-brand wrapping paper, a move that will likely extend to decoration of Christmas crackers as well.

MORE: Plastic ban - these everyday plastic items will be banned in the UK

“Reducing the amount of single-use plastic in products and packaging is really important to us and our customers,” said Dan Cooper, partner and head Christmas buyer at John Lewis.

“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.”

The company has already removed plastic wrapping from majority of the greeting cards that they have on sale, which they claim has saved them from using a massive eight tonnes of plastic each year.

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The John Lewis Partnership is just one organisation to join the global fight against single-use plastic, with major UK retailers, including the majority of the mainstream supermarkets already having made major moves.

Earlier this year Tesco vowed to ban any brands that use excessive plastic packaging, while, in a UK first, Sainsbury’s recently replaced plastic flower bags with paper ones.

Both supermarkets have also trialled bottle recycling schemes in the last year, while Morrisons introduced a trial earlier this year using paper bags at their checkouts instead of plastic carrier bags.

MORE: Four IRL women reveal how they've (almost) gone plastic-free

Back in the summer, high-street store Marks & Spencer also upped their efforts, introducing a scheme where customers can bring their ownplastic containersto the retailer’s Market Place food counters.

This year also saw high-street pharmacy and cosmetics giant Boots replace their iconic blue and white plastic shopping bags with paper alternatives.

And when it comes to removing plastic toys, fast food restaurants McDonald’s and Burger King also pledged to their part, removing plastic toys from their children’s meals.

Well done to all the big retailers on making these important changes.

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.

Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

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