“The scariest thing about Halloween is now plastic” says the charity, Fairyland Trust.
The environmental issue with Halloween
A 2019 survey of 19 retailers by family nature charity Fairyland Trust, and environmental charity Hubbub, estimated that UK Halloween celebrations generate over 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste from clothing and costumes alone.
The same survey discovered that 83% of the material in the 324 clothing items was made from oil-based plastic.
This is roughly the equivalent by weight of waste plastic to 83 million Coca Cola bottles.
Of course, part of the responsibility for clearing up this issue lies with retailers.
Thanks to the poor labelling on many of their products, a lot of us consumers are blissfully unaware of the huge quantities of plastic that these clothes are made from.
Still, we can’t let ourselves off the Halloween hook either.
Each year in the UK more than 30 million of us dress up for Halloween and around 7 million of our costumes get thrown away.
None of this means that you cannot go all out for Halloween though.
There are all kinds of creative ways to find and craft plastic free costumes and so many other ways to celebrate.
How to have a plastic free Halloween
Try drawing inspiration from this Pinterest board of zero-waste Halloween ideas.
People have covered all the bases, from recipes to decorations to kids’ activities.
Speaking of which, a lot of trick or treat sweets come in plastic wrappers as well.
Try throwing together some really simple sweets that are fun, tasty and grotesque (in a good way.)
If you’re after a slightly more sophisticated but still seasonal culinary approach, take a look at these autumnal recipes.
The pumpkin doughnuts are the best of both worlds – zero waste and autumnal.
Plastic free Halloween costume ideas
Dressing up is the main event for many people, and you really don’t have to spend money or cost the earth to look tacky and terrifying.
Take a look at the Fairyland Trust’s advice to families, to find ideas about how to dress up without adding to the waste.
Or start raiding your wardrobe and your local charity shop to find the most frightful frocks you can,
We’re not suggesting you ditch Halloween, the sustainability nightmare it has posed so far is an opportunity to get creative with what you wear and the treats you enjoy this year.