If you feel like no Christmas table is complete without a cracker and a bang then there are eco-friendly alternatives to the supermarket classic – and they don’t come with a useless plastic toy…

A Christmas cracker is a Christmas staple. But, when the bad jokes are the best thing about them, you know something’s not quite right. It’s time to upgrade with these eco-friendly Christmas cracker alternatives.

1. Christmas crackers with eco-friendly wooden toys
£18.95 for 12, Celebration Crackers

For £18.95 this set of ‘12 days of Christmas crackers include a more eco-friendly wooden toy.

2. Recyclable Christmas crackers
£1.50 per cracker, House of Crackers

These recyclable Christmas crackers come with a snap, hat and a joke – but no gift, for £1.50 each. You can refill them with whatever you fancy. A lovely hand cream? (Organic, natch). A delightful chocolate? (Fairtrade, of course). Your cracker-pulling guests will thank you for it, and you’ll definitely be the host with the most.

Eco-friendly Christmas crackers | Celebration Crackers
Celebration Crackers

3. Charity Christmas crackers
£24.95 for 24, Advent of Change

These beautiful bad boys are plastic-free, eco-friendly and recyclable, and each of the crackers contains a donation to a different charity. When you crack each cracker, you’ll find out which charity you’ve helped and what impact you’ve had, prettily enclosed in a little Christmas bauble. What’s more, each of the 24 crackers has a different joke written by a celebrity – but we won’t tell you who, because that would be telling…

4. Reusable Christmas crackers
£19 for six, Etsy

Purchase this set of six re-usable crackers for £18 and they will be delivered flat-packed. OK, they’re not round, but each one can be constructed and filled with a gift of choice. Plus the refillable ‘snaps’ mean they can be used again and again. This brilliant online shop sells everything you need to make fun, eco-friendly crackers of your own. Speaking of which…

5. Or… You can DIY your Christmas crackers

No we’re not crackers (sorry not sorry). The DIY Christmas cracker route involves saving cardboard toilet roll inserts and rolling them in a fabric of your choice. Fill with a handwritten joke and gift and tie with string at each end. These look festive, but are untied – rather than pulled apart – by each guest, which some would say kind of misses the point, and we’re not entirely sure we disagree at Live Frankly HQ…

Main image: Advent of Change