Christmas crackers to fall silent this festive season as ‘responsible’ greener versions replace them – with diners advised to make their own noise instead!
- A supplier ‘removed the snap’ to make the crackers easier to recycle
The explosive snap of the Christmas cracker is set to fall silent this year to make them more ‘responsible’.
In a move that risks removing the joy from the festive tradition, which dates back to Queen Victoria’s reign, diners are being advised to make their own noise instead.
It is claimed the decision to remove the snap allows the crackers to be more easily recycled and therefore makes them a greener option for Christmas Day.
Alliance National, one of Britain’s biggest catering suppliers, has announced it will only offer the silent crackers at its Christmas celebrations, which include dozens of care homes, hotels, pubs and restaurants across the country.
The original cracker was developed by Tom Smith, an enterprising baker in London’s East End who took his inspiration for the explosive ‘pop’ from the crackling sound of a log fire.
Smith patented his first cracker device in 1847 and perfected the mechanism, which used two narrow strips of paper layered together – with silver fulminate painted on one side and an abrasive surface on the other – in the 1860s.
Christmas Crackers were inspired by the explosive ‘pop’ from the crackling sound of a log fire
The original cracker was developed by Tom Smith, an enterprising baker in London’s East End
The friction caused when pulling them apart caused the now familiar snap, which has been central to Christmas Day for more than 150 years.
The new ‘celebration of responsibility’ crackers come with a note that urges users to ‘make some noise’ before informing them that ‘we have removed the snap from this cracker to ensure it is fully recyclable’.
It goes on to explain the move is ‘part of our journey to make every Christmas a celebration of responsibility’, while the firm’s website adds it will reassure people they are ‘doing something right for the environment’.
Christopher Snowdon, an author and head of lifestyle and economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, was served the silent crackers at a recent lunch hosted by the Lords and Commons Cigar Club in the House of Lords.
He described them as ‘rubbish’, adding ‘you pull a cracker and they don’t crack and you just think it’s broken’.
The friction caused when pulling them apart caused the now familiar snap, which has been central to Christmas Day for more than 150 years
A House of Lords spokesman confirmed the recyclable crackers would be used at its banqueting events this Christmas and said they were a ‘small part’ of its commitment to reduce waste.
READ MORE – Harrods is selling box of six Christmas crackers for £750 – including treats such as perfume and gift vouchers
One style of green and red silver fulminate-free cracker for sale on Alliance Online costs just under £50 for 50 and includes paper Christmas tree decorations, but no hats or jokes.
High-street chains like John Lewis have come with an alternative way to ensure crackers are safely disposed of by simply advising customers to remove the silver fulminate strips when putting them in household recycling bins.
Alliance National’s website states: ‘As a business, sustainability and our impact on the environment are at the forefront of how we operate, as such this year we have opted for an initiative which ensures our crackers are fully recyclable’.
It adds: ‘The way this has been achieved is by removing the silver fulminate which is used to achieve the traditional snap.
‘Now when the cracker is pulled it will instead break apart with the audible crack of cardboard meaning you can still enjoy a cracker with your meal whilst knowing you are doing something right for the environment.’
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