Plastic Free Halloween

The scariest thing about Halloween is plastic!

Did you know that Halloween produces 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste, according to research by Hubbub and the Fairyland Trust? After surveying the Halloween products of 19 major retailers, they estimate that 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste will be produced – just from clothing and costumes alone. That’s not considering packaging for sweets and cheap plastic-based decorations.

After analysing 324 clothing items that have been promoted online by the retailers, Hubbub and the Fairyland Trust concluded that 83% of the materials used were oil-based plastic. What does this really look like? According to the survey, this is the same as 83 million Coca Cola bottles in waste plastic – that’s more than one for every person living in the UK.

Older research cited by the Fairyland Trust reveals that seven million costumes are thrown away in the UK. Against this landscape of waste, it’s imperative that we include costumes in our definition of single-use plastic and fast fashion.

How to have a better, greener Halloween this year:
  • Make your own costume: Raid the fancy dress box at home to fashion your own costume. Halloween costumes don’t have to be frightening, you could also take advantage of the excuse to dress up as whatever you want.
  • Swap old costumes with friends: Give your old costumes another chance by giving them to a friend to wear.
  • Visit a charity shop: Rather than buying new, explore your local charity shops for outfits or finishing touches to your costume.
  • Refuse plastic tat: High street shops and supermarkets are awash with cheap plastic decorations that probably won’t withstand party wear and tear. Use material or cardboard for bunting, as well as cardboard and paper cut-out decorations, Paper dollies make great cobwebs. Reuse old decorations and Christmas lights.
  • Pumpkin Rescue: Hubbub has launched a campaign to reduce food waste from uneaten pumpkins at Halloween. A reported 15 million end up in the bin each Halloween – that’s enough to make one bowl of soup for everyone in Britain. They’re sharing lots of tips and delicious recipes to use your pumpkin, right up to the seeds. Even better if you can source your pumpkin locally (Ashover pumpkins!)
  • Enjoy ghoultastic treats: Avoid plastic treat buckets by reusing and decorating what you’ve already got. Alternatives to single-use wrapped treats include ‘bulk buying’ pick and mix in paper bags or cardboard boxes to put in a bowl or smaller paper bags. If you have time, you could bake mini treats and wrap them in paper