A YORK designer is proving crackers, rather like puppy dogs, are not just for Christmas.

With a patent pending, Bea Thackeray has been selling her range of reusable crackers at independent retailers and trade fairs since launching her business, keep this Design, in April.

In a bid to make crackers more environmentally friendly, Mrs Thackeray’s creations come flat-packed and ready made. They just need popping into shape and filling with gifts.

Once pulled, the crackers simply need putting back together with a new “snapper” and they are ready to go again.

Mrs Thackeray, who also runs her own graphic design business, said: “I wanted to see whether it was possible to cut down on waste from Christmas crackers. I did quite a few experiments to see how I could make a product that could be reusable. From an environmental point of view, these crackers make a real difference.

“Sales have been going really well, with the fact that people can fill them with their own gifts proving to be a really popular selling point.

“There is real potential to grow the idea into the novelty gift packaging, party and wedding markets.”

Mrs Thackeray worked with local printers Wood Richardson to produce the first commercially available “keep this...Refillable Crackers”.

The crackers have been sold in gift shops across the country.