Retailers ditch glitter on cards and plastic in packaging this Christmas

Glitter is being stripped from Christmas cards and plastic is being purged from packaging as high street retailers try to deliver a more eco-friendly festive season this year.

Crackers, wrapping paper, present bags, flowers, plants and wreaths are now 100% glitter-free from Morrisons supermarket in its “fight against plastic pollution”.

Boots UK has eliminated 2,020 tonnes of plastic from its Christmas gift ranges by ditching single-use plastic packaging. It means that all gift packaging is now plastic-free and is intended to be recycled or reused.

Glitter is made from tiny particles of plastic and is an ecological hazard if it becomes dispersed on land, rivers and oceans – where it takes hundreds of years to degrade.

Morrisons home director Christine Bryce said: “Every time a cracker is pulled, or a card is opened, plastics have been used … but just the once.

“We’ve taken glitter and plastic out of our festive range this year, so that our customers can enjoy their festivities without worrying about the environmental impact.”

Morrisons estimates it will be removing more than 50 tonnes of plastic from its shelves during the festive period, due to the glitter ban and its drive to reduce plastic in its Christmas ranges.

Morrisons supermarket shelves
Morrisons supermarket shelves

Items such as games and gifts will now be made out of paper, metal or wood and are designed to be kept and reused.

Cracker shells will be made from Forest Stewardship Council accredited cardboard and decorated with a metallic based ink.

The amount of plastic packaging on cards and decorations has also been stripped back. Felt, hessian and wooden decorations are being stocked.

Boots UK has also joined up with BBC Earth on a range of bathroom gifts which it says are kinder to the planet and which will help save the equivalent of more than 990,000 plastic bottles.

It says the aim is to help customers to “gift more mindfully” this Christmas at a time when searches for its eco-friendly products have boomed online.