John Lewis Partnership (JLP), which operates department store group John Lewis & Partners and supermarket chain Waitrose & Partners, has announced that this will be the last Christmas when it sells Christmas crackers with plastic toys inside.
Instead, crackers will be filled with toys made from recyclable materials such as metal and paper games, and decorated with techniques such as embossing rather than plastic glitter. The decision has been made as part of JLP’s plans to cut down on single-use plastic products.
This year John Lewis & Partners is selling three own-brand designs of ‘fill your own’ crackers, and so far these are proving to be the most popular crackers, accounting for one in every three packets of crackers sold. It has also reduced the amount of plastic glitter on its own-brand range of Christmas wrapping paper, gift bags and tags, advent calendars and crackers by two-thirds.
In addition, John Lewis has already removed the plastic wrapping from the majority of individual cards it sells and estimates that this alone will save eight tonnes of plastic each year.
All of the real Christmas trees sold in John Lewis are grown in the UK and all of its tinsel is made in Wales.
Dan Cooper, 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.”
Waitrose & Partners has already confirmed that by Christmas 2020, its own label cards, wraps, crackers, tags, flowers and plants will either be glitter-free or the retailer will use an environmentally-friendly alternative.
PHOTO: A John Lewis staff member stacks the shelves with Fill Your Own Christmas Crackers in the Peter Jones store at Sloane Square in London