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John Lewis and Waitrose to stop selling Christmas crackers containing plastic toys

Metal and paper prizes to be inserted instead, bosses say

Olivia Petter
Tuesday 29 October 2019 13:40 GMT
A festive treat with trinkets that won’t cost the Earth
A festive treat with trinkets that won’t cost the Earth (Getty/iStock)

The John Lewis Partnership, which includes John Lewis and Waitrose, has announced it will stop selling Christmas crackers containing plastic toys.

Instead, the crackers will be filled with toys made from recyclable materials, including metal and paper games.

The retailer has also vowed to remove plastic glitter from all of its own-brand gift wrapping, which includes glitter that might have been used to decorate crackers.

The company has already removed plastic wrapping from the majority of the greeting cards it sells, which the retailer claims has saved it from using eight tons of plastic each year.

Dan Cooper, partner and head Christmas buyer at John Lewis, said: “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.”

John Lewis and Waitrose are just two of the major retailers that have implemented major changes in recent months to reduce their plastic output.

In August, Tesco pledged to ban any brands that use excessive packaging from its stores to reduce plastic waste, while Sainsbury’s recently became the first major UK retailer to replace plastic flower bags with paper packaging.

Fast food companies are taking note too. In September, McDonald’s and Burger King revealed they would also be removing plastic toys from its children’s meals following a petition launched by two school girls urging both chains to “think of the environment”.

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