The scariest thing about Halloween is the plastic waste…
Halloween is just around the corner! But did you know that this day for spooky family fun is often filled with plastic? From synthetic single-use costumes to the excessive plastic on lollies, Halloween generates copious amounts of plastic waste per year.
A 2019 UK study found that 83% of materials used to produce Halloween costumes were manufactured using oil-based plastics. The same study estimated that 2000 tonnes of plastic waste is created through these throwaway Halloween costumes in just one year. That’s the equivalent to 83 million plastic bottles!
But fear not! Take 3 has got tips for you to celebrate a plastic-free Halloween:
Traditional Halloween costumes are made of synthetic plastics and their poor construction means they’re often disposed of come 1 November. For Halloween costumes that don’t cost the earth, consider repurposing what you already own. It’s better for the planet and your pocket. You might also consider hiring a costume, reusing ones from previous years or swapping with friends. Face painting is also a great alternative to plastic Halloween masks but avoid using glitter unless it’s plastic-free.
Excessive packaging on individually wrapped lollies is another reason for the incredible amount of plastic waste Halloween generates. In 2019, Australian consumers spent an estimated $159 million on Halloween confectionery. To reduce your plastic waste, consider making your own home-baked treats or opt for lollies which come loose in a bag, such as those from your local zero waste store. If you’re left with the wrappers from sweets, dispose of them at a soft plastics bin at your local supermarket. Find your local REDCycle Bin here.
In 2019, Australian consumers spent an estimated $159 million on Halloween confectionery
Decorating your home
Dressing up your house is always fun, but unfortunately most decorations are made of plastic. Get creative and use recyclable materials to make some sustainable Halloween decorations! Use coloured paper to make paper ghost, ghoul or bat garlands which can be recycled or composted after use. And instead of buying synthetic spider web, tie cheesecloth or string made from natural fibres together.
Instead of carrying those plastic pumpkin-shaped baskets, opt for a canvas bag or simply a pillowcase to store your candy when you’re out-and-about.
Entertaining can always generate large amounts of plastic waste. If you’re entertaining this Halloween avoid using single-use plastic utensils and plates. Instead, simply use your regular ceramic dishes and metal cutlery. Say no to plastic wrap for storing leftovers and send digital invitations to reduce your invite carbon footprint.