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Christmas Re-Crackers

REDUCE - REUSE - RECYCLE - RECRACKER!

  

 

Yes they snap open like a disposable cracker!

Yes they go off with an explosive bang!

Yes they slide back together for decades of use?

And yes, they will become a treasured heirloom tradition for your family! 


     

     

     

    Our patent-pending design

    We have a patent-pending, custom-designed tube system that has been tested by engineers to ensure our Christmas Re-crackers™ ‘pull’ apart just like a disposable. In fact, the numbers show that a disposable cracker pulls apart with approximately 87 Newtons of pressure. (Personally, I never listened in physics class but now I wish I did! A Newton is the measurement of tension, or a breaking point of an object). This means a disposable cracker has 8.7kg of pull and each person is pulling 4.35kg.

    Our Christmas Re-crackers™ measured with an average of 96 Newtons so each person is pulling 4.8kg… but the good thing about our design is that the tension is variable. If you push the crackers together by just 3-4mm then the tension goes down to 81 Newtons which is perfect for little kids. If you push them together by 10-15mm then it goes up to 121 Newtons but we personally don’t advise this as a fierce battle may result in an elbow in the eye or damaging the life expectancy of the Re-cracker.

     

     

     

    How they work

    Our Christmas Re-crackers™ are designed to be a one-off purchase as a unit -- you receive the Re-crackers, in a beautiful storage box and can add-on the reusable cotton crowns if you wish. You then use our Filler Packs each year which contain the snaps, jokes and mini gifts. If you subscribe, these will be delivered to your door so you don’t need to lift a finger!

    It’s the plastic junk inside disposable crackers that has seen their decline in popularity over recent years. But, as we become more aware of our environmental footprint, many people are making the hard choice to leave tradition behind. Our family even had a massive family fight about it -- the traditionalists wanting to use crackers "because it's only once a year!" whilst the progressives said, "No, we need to make sacrifices to do the right thing." Poor mum was stuck in the middle trying to be Switzerland and keep everyone happy. This was actually the leaping off point for the design of our Re-crackers but it was more than just making reusable crackers and hats themselves -- we wanted to turn the whole experience on its head. Not only are the re-crackers and hats reusable, but the mini gifts inside them actually benefit local businesses and charities. It’s not enough just to provide plastic-free, eco-friendly items -- it has to benefit people as well. That’s why we are supporting small craft market businesses who actually do a happy dance when you pull your re-cracker because they have handmade the item you are about to enjoy.

    If you want to fill the Re-crackers yourself, please note the units are 32cm long so the snaps must be 12-inch (30cm). The mini gifts must be under 5cm in depth/width in order to fit in. For orders outside New Zealand, the snaps will be removed as we can’t courier these internationally as they are classed as an explosive. You will need to source 12-inch snaps from a supplier near you.

     

     

     

    Care instructions

    Instead of dumping crackers and all their contents in the bin (landfill or recycling), ours can be washed in the washing machine then put back in the cupboard year after year. It’s inevitable that someone will drop one in the gravy, or sticky little hands that have been eating lollies all day will gunk up the handle. Simply pull the fabric sleeve off the cardboard tube to wash, then pull back on when it is thoroughly dry.

    Machine wash on COLD

    Lie flat in shade to dry

    Do NOT tumble dry

    The sleeve is designed to fit tightly around the tube. If you apply heat through washing or drying, the shrinkage will make it very difficult to get it back onto the tube. Therefore, you must wash on cold and dry in the shade.

     

    The reusable crowns

       

     

    Our Christmas Re-crackers™ have the option of reusable sturdy crowns that will fit all heads so no more tissue hats sliding down your nose over Christmas dinner!

    The crowns are a variety of coloured cotton with wading to make them stand up straight. We chose simple plain colours as we are big fans of reusing these for kids birthday parties… (kids parties create a phenomenal amount of waste!).

    The crowns are machine washable and can be washed on warm and soaked if necessary to remove makeup or sweat. Please note excessive soaking will dull the colour of the hat. Do not tumble dry.

     

    FAQ

    Do the crackers come empty or filled?

    Our Re-crackers come empty. Once you have the crackers, crowns and storage box, this is your base unit that last the years ahead. The only consumables are our filler packs with the snaps, jokes and mini gifts. You need to load your re-crackers before use.  

    What repair or replacement policy do you have?

    We realise someone may sit on a re-cracker and destroy the tube. Just send us a photo of the destroyed tube and we will send a replacement tube ($3 per half). The fabric sleeves will last decades if they are well looked after.

     

    Why do you need a photo of the destroyed tube?

    Our design is patent-protected and whilst we have huge love for home crafting DIYers, we need to protect ourselves from people buying our custom-made tubes to make their own crackers.

     

    Can I buy your refill kit to use with my own homemade crackers?

    Yes! Absolutely! We’d love you to! And you can also buy the crowns separately to add to your own DIY crackers if you wish.

     

    They seem expensive… how do you explain the price?

    At the current price of $199.95 for eight, it works out at $25 per re-cracker, with a large, sturdy storage box for free! Disposable crackers are made from card which is approximately 5 cents per metre. Our cotton is $29.95 per metre. Disposables have flimsy toilet roll inner tubes, ours are super thick heavy duty. Disposables are machine-made in the millions -- ours are handmade by local women at approximately one set per hour. Disposables have paper or plastic ties at each end -- ours have satin ribbon made from 100% recycled milk bottles (which are hand tied into pretty bows). 

    In terms of reusables, the price is always going to be more than disposables. A piece of plastic sandwich wrap is about 0.5 of a cent but a beeswax wrap is $12. A disposable coffee cup is 0.25 of a cent but a keepcup is $25. A disposable water bottle is 5 cents but a glass or aluminium bottle is $25. 

     

     

    I need 13 crackers… can I buy variations in quantities?

    We only have 4s and 8s so you can get any multiple of that. 

     

    How do you decide who ‘wins’ the battle if they split in the middle?

    The half with the hat wins!

     

    Can I refill them myself?

    Yes. Just make sure you source 12-inch snaps!!! Snaps from craft shops often come in 8, 10 or 12-inch options. You definitely need 12-inch snaps otherwise the snap will disappear into the handle.

     

    Are your jokes really terrible?

    They are dreadful! All our jokes are guaranteed to make you groan and all are family friendly to read out in front of Grandma and the kids.

     

    Do you ship to Australia? UK? Canada?

    Yes but we only offer tracked courier which is more expensive as we have found shipping times due to Covid so incredibly long that overseas customers were waiting 3-4 months for regular postage. For orders outside New Zealand, the snaps will be removed from our refill packs as we can’t courier these internationally as they are classed as an explosive. You will need to source 12-inch snaps from a supplier near you.

     

    I’d like to order 50+ re-crackers for my corporate Christmas and/or event company to hire out each year.

    Fabulous. We have special rates for orders of 50+ re-crackers which is perfect for event hire companies who wish to hire them out for all their Christmas events each year. For businesses that wish to buy them for internal use each year, we can work with you to tailor the refill pack to include your own products as well as donation tokens to charities of your choice.

     

    Can I sell these in my store?

    Contact us at emma@wastefreecelebrations.co.nz for enquiries about retailing.

     

    History of the Christmas Cracker

    Tradition tells of how Tom Smith (1823–1869) of London invented crackers in 1847. He created the crackers as a development of his bon-bon sweets, which he sold in a twist of paper (the origins of the traditional sweet-wrapper). As sales of bon-bons slumped, Smith began to come up with new promotional ideas. His first tactic was to insert love messages into the wrappers of the sweets (similar to fortune cookies). 

    Smith added the "crackle" element when he heard the crackle of a log he had just put on a fire. The size of the paper wrapper had to be increased to incorporate the banger mechanism, and the sweet itself was eventually dropped, to be replaced by a trinket: fans, jewellery and other substantial items. The new product was initially marketed as the Cosaque (French for Cossack),  but the onomatopoeic "cracker" soon became the commonly used name, as rival varieties came on the market. 

    The other elements of the modern cracker—the gifts, paper hats and varied designs—were all introduced by Tom Smith's son, Walter Smith, to differentiate his product from the rival cracker manufacturers which had suddenly sprung up.

    The Second World War caused paper rationing and a restriction on the manufacture of cracker snaps, but the industry recovered – in the 1950s and 1960s, Tom Smith & Co. was making 30,000 crackers a week. Today Christmas crackers are produced for every pocket, from luxurious to fun-sized. And the Tom Smith brand continues to produce luxury crackers, including special crackers for the Royal Household, although the designs and contents are a closely guarded secret.

    Why do we wear crowns?

    We wear paper hats on special occasions like Christmas Day and birthday parties. The tradition of wearing hats at parties goes back to the Roman Saturnalia celebrations (celebrated around 25 December) when the participants also wore hats.

    The idea of wearing a paper crown may have also originated from the Twelfth Night celebrations, where a King or Queen was appointed to look over the proceedings.

    Global consumption of crackers

    Finding accurate data on how many crackers the planet goes through each year has been very hard to come by. In the UK, British Airways did a survey on Christmas consumption and found that the UK went through 154 million crackers each year which is 2.33 crackers for every person in the UK. (https://mediacentre.britishairways.com/pressrelease/details/86/0/9075). To find the global total, the best estimate is to use population data then apply the same ratios.  

      

      

    • UK 66 million people - 154 million crackers
    • Canada 37 million people - 85 million crackers
    • Australia 25 million people - 57 million crackers
    • South Africa 58 million - 133 million crackers
    • Ireland 5 million - 11 million crackers

    We know in New Zealand we imported 1.7million disposable crackers in 2020 (NZ Customs data) which was down from 4.5million in 2016. This is much less than 2.3 crackers per person largely due to NZ’s progressive stance on waste.

    Then there are all the other countries where crackers are sold but do not form such a critical part of Christmas tradition.

      

     

    Despite this painting by American artist, Norman Rockwell, crackers are not actually part of American Christmas tradition although it is gaining popularity largely due to English Christmas movies which are popular in the USA. 

    All in all, we estimate that the planet produces, consumes and chucks out anywhere from 300 - 400 million crackers each year.