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Not all Christmas crackers are created equal.
While some wear their eco credentials proudly, the majority of high street buys can't be recycled due to the presence of glitter, foil or plastic. But that's not to say you can't find exciting and ethical crackers this year to go with your vegan gifts under the tree.
Key to your eco friendly Christmas cracker is how recyclable the parts are: the more bits you can recycle the better. This rules out any products made with glitter so you'll have to add sparkle to the table with your own wit. Also look to see what it's made from, recycled materials will always be a winner. Avoid a cracker that includes a plastic gift and instead look for something more intriguing for your guests: paper, wood or metal are good alternative choices. Finally don't forget to also consider whether the snap and any trimmings or ribbons can be recycled and what dyes may be used.
Of course if you're looking to ditch the Christmas cracker altogether go ahead! There are some great Christmas cracker alternatives out there. How about wrapping a small sustainable gift or some chocolates in reusable silk scarves? Making your own miniature bags from old fabrics and filling with a homemade candle or giving potted Christmas cacti as table gifts?
If you're planning an eco friendly Christmas let us reveal which Christmas crackers come out top with our eight favourites.
Our Top Choice
Woodland Reusable Christmas Crackers - Kate Sproston Design
We think these pretty environmentally friendly Christmas crackers are just the ticket for a family celebration this year. They can be purchased individually, each with a Christmassy motif, or you can also get a set of six. They come complete with green satin ribbon ties and a durable cardboard tube made from recyclable materials for the inside. The fabric is a natural linen embroidered with green thread. These reusable crackers don't come with a snap however the fact you can select your own gifts makes this a winner in our books.
- Price: £14.95 for 1
- Reusable crackers
- Plastic and glitter free
Best For Zero Waste
Recycled Snowflakes Christmas Crackers - Sophia Victoria Joy
Not only can you pop these in your recycling bin but they're also crafted from recycled paper in the first instance, making them the ultimate recyclable Christmas crackers. They're handmade in Britain so keep your carbon footprint low, and are made from screen printed recycled paper with a festive snowflake design using water-based inks. Inside the contents are fun: a festive badge, Christmas candy cane, joke and the ever popular party hat. These high end Christmas crackers look great too.
- Price: £35 for 6
- Made from recycled paper
- Made in Britain
Best For Families On A Budget
Eco-Friendly Fill Your Own Crackers - Tom Smith
Plastic free packaging and not a whiff of a cheap, plastic gift in sight means these eco crackers deserve their spot in our list this year. They're made with Kraft material featuring a pretty foliage design and are glitter and foil free. The beautiful foliage design means that they will finish the look of your Christmas day table perfectly. Best of all you're in charge of what they contain so you can get really creative and spread more eco friendly cheer by popping in seed packs, mini beeswax candles, organic hand creams or wooden trinkets. Whatever you think your guests will love most, the choice is yours! These handmade Christmas crackers make a nice alternative to Christmas crackers you buy ready filled.
- Price: £7.49 for six
- Fill your own
- Plastic free
Best For High Street Fans
Luxury Recyclable Geometric Crackers - Dunelm
You can now find eco friendly Christmas crackers right on your doorstep and at a great price too. These Christmas crackers from Dunelm also mean zero waste, as everything from the snap to the gift to the packaging can go straight in your recycling bin, so no more time spent trying to dismantle it to separate the waste. The stylish geometric design will also add pizzazz to your table, and inside you'll find a hat, joke, snap and a motto, so no novelty gifts cluttering the table this year, which many will see as a good thing for an eco friendly Christmas.
- Price: £8 for 6
- Fully recyclable
- Stylish design
Best For Larger Families
Plastic Free Christmas Tree Crackers - Love Tiki
You'll get 12 brilliant eco Christmas crackers with this set: enough for a large family or to use over several days. Best of all, these are stylish, no-plastic Christmas crackers right down to the gifts! As well as an eco hat, snap and joke you'll also find a paper Christmas tree decoration inside which can be reused each year. They come in their own zero waste paper bag packaging and a donation to the Trussell Trust is made from every sale.
- Price: £24.99
- Plastic free
- No waste design
- Donation to charity
Best For Craft Lovers
8 Natural Brown Kraft Recycles Make & Fill Your Own Cracker Kit - Bespoke By Crafty Capers
Non-plastic Christmas crackers are in the spotlight this year. This kit enables you to make eight plastic free Christmas crackers of your own. They use Kraft card that is fully recyclable and you can buy an additional accessories kit containing plastic free and recyclable snappy strips, jokes and hats - plus if you tie the ends with raffia you can throw the whole lot in the recycling bin when you're done pulling. Add your own gifts, may we suggest paper wrapped edible items, the ultimate eco friendly choice. This cracker's simple good looks won't overwhelm your table either.
- Price: £11.45 for 8 jumbo crackers
- Fully recyclable
- Made from Kraft card
Best For Festive Fun
Christmas Chorus Recycled Crackers - RSPB
Don't add to the waste fest that Christmas usually is, with these thoughtful eco friendly Christmas crackers. Made from recycled, FSC® certified paper there is zero plastic waste to be seen. A fetching festive red colour, you'll get a sheet of coloured paper along with instructions for folding your very own origami shape plus a joke and hat. They'll get you in to the spirit of Christmas without compromising your ethics.
- Price: £24 for 2 boxes of 6
- FSC® certified paper
- Recycled materials
Best For Luxury Crackers
Luxury Handmade Alpine Snowflakes Crackers - Cox & Cox
If you want to push the boat out these crackers scream luxury but won't blot your eco friendly copy book. The gifts are genuinely useable: a miniature grater, hot chocolate sachet, miniature pot of jam, cookie cutter, wildflower seeds and a honey dipper. Plus the paper used is sourced from sustainable stock within the UK and printed using vegetable based dyes. The cracker, hat, joke and a snap can all go straight in the recycling bin though you'll need to remove the bows first.
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top products for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for the best Christmas crackers that are big on ethics then take a look at our favourite wooden baby toys or check out more Christmas essentials with these festive toy soldiers.
- Price: £50
- Covetable gifts
- Recyclable materials
Luca is a keen performer, student and writer. Based in North London and constantly surrounded by his large Cypriot family, including many young cousins, Luca is no stranger to great food and adventure. Passionate about contemporary art forms, including dance-theatre and photography, Luca loves visiting art galleries and performance venues.