Christmas crackers should be banned in a bid to save on waste, an organisation has claimed.
Waste management company BusinessWaste.co.uk said the huge majority of treats from crackers are single use plastics - most of which goes to landfill or is burned – which it branded a waste of money, resources and energy.
It is estimated that over 40 million Christmas crackers end up in the bin on Christmas Day.
BusinessWaste.co.uk spokeman Mark Hall, said: "With tens of millions of us celebrating Christmas, the scale of unnecessary waste is appalling. When you think what goes into a Christmas cracker – the plastic toy, the snap, the shiny paper hat, the ribbons – it's all wasted. And millions of these are pulled and immediately binned every Christmas Day.
"And that's before you factor in the fact that millions upon millions of these things are shipped halfway across the world from China. It's madness."
Of those polled, 99 per cent said they simply threw Christmas cracker gifts in the bin at the end of the day, while 78 per cent admitted that their Christmas wrapping paper is thrown into the household waste bin.
Drink? Gluttony? Laziness?
Some 81 per cent said they used a plastic table cloth which is thrown away at the end of the festive season.
Mr Hall added "There's something about Christmas that makes people forget their good recycling habits," he says, "Everything seems to get stuffed into the household general waste bin over Christmas. Drink? Gluttony? Laziness? Who knows why. Instead, families could choose a sustainable Christmas, just by using a bit of imagination and ditching the single-use plastics."
John Lewis and Waitrose announced last month that this Christmas will be the last time they will be selling crackers with plastic toys inside in a bid to cut down on single use plastics. Crackers will be instead filled with toys made from recyclable materials, such as metal and paper games, the partnership said, and they will be decorated with techniques such as embossing, rather than plastic glitter.
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