Push to ban Christmas crackers for the environment's sake
It's a yuletide tradition - the Christmas bonbon with its paper hat, corny dad joke and plastic toy.
But environmentalists are asking that this year we ban the bonbons that contain plastic toys.
Environmentalist and founder of Biome, Tracey Bailey, says the yuletide tradition is waste of money that just adds to the large amounts of plastic waste in landfills
"Disposable plastic trinkets inside Christmas crackers should be considered in with the bans of other single use plastic items such as straws, cutlery, beverage stirrers and cotton buds, that governments all over the world are enacting," she says.
"They are just as likely to end up washing down drains and in to our oceans."
She says families could help reduce waste - which increases dramatically over the festive season - by not buying the crackers that have the plastic toys.
"The plastic toys placed inside Christmas crackers are cheaply made and designed to provide
momentary entertainment," she says.
"Once the festivities are over, the toys are usually forgotten and discarded with the rubbish from Christmas lunch or dinner."
While Planet Ark doesn't advocate for bans as part of its policy of being non-political, a spokesman says bonbons are a good example of what to avoid if you are serious about reducing waste.
"We don't know of any mainstream options one could purchase but it is possible to make your own low waste bon-bons by using recycled paper and treats you've made yourself, though we don't recommend making the snap strip at home," he says.
Ms Bailey says an eco friendly alternative is to make your own plastic free Christmas crackers from cardboard toilet roll inserts, recycled paper and twine; and replace the toy with a random act of kindness card for the recipient to complete in the New Year.
"For a zero waste alternative, wrap the cardboard toilet roll insert in fabric and tie the ends with twine. These DIY Christmas crackers are untied rather than pulled apart, but the fabric, twine and rolls can be saved and reused the following year," she says.