As the days draw darker and a chill creeps into the air, homes and businesses around the world prepare for Halloween. The fun yet frightening celebration at the end of October has a seriously scary side though – the amount of Halloween waste the holiday produces. From mountains of discarded pumpkins to millions of costumes chucked away, it’s a petrifying problem.
Thankfully, awareness is growing and there are many great Halloween recycling ideas and sustainable options to have a low or zero waste Halloween. Read our guides to discover some truly terrifying Halloween waste facts and find ways you can have an environmentally friendly Halloween in your home or business this year.
facts and statistics
Halloween waste statistics change each year, as more people and businesses are becoming aware of the need to cut down on the waste they produce. They also vary across the world, as the likes of the US and UK invest much more into the haunted holiday than some other countries.
However, there are still plenty of frightening Halloween waste facts and stats out there:
- A petrifying 22 million pumpkins are thrown away in the UK each Halloween – equivalent to £32 million of food waste.
- 18,000 tons of pumpkin waste are produced – with only one in nine people cooking theirs.
- When pumpkins end up in landfill they decompose and release methane, which is a greenhouse gas 20 times more harmful to the earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
- The average trick-or-treater creates about 450g of waste – mostly plastic and packaging from sweet wrappers that’s not normally recyclable.
- Seven million Halloween costumes are binned after Halloween – and frighteningly four in ten people only wear theirs once.
- Of all these Halloween costumes about 63% contain polyester, which takes up to 200 years to decompose.
- 83% of Halloween costumes contain non-recyclable oil-based plastics, which means they end up in landfill or are incinerated.
- Halloween costumes create around 2,000 tons of plastic waste every year – the weight of 300 elephants.
- In the USA, a horrifying four million kilograms of textile waste are created at Halloween with costumes thrown away.
- Around $2.6 billion is spent on Halloween sweets in the USA for Halloween too.
- Americans lead the way when it comes to spending, splashing out more than $10 billion on Halloween – in the UK it’s closer to £700 million spent on Halloween.
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