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Guides to reducing Halloween waste

Halloween Waste

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.

Halloween waste 
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.

Halloween waste guides

Explore more facts and statistics about Halloween waste, Halloween recycling ideas, and ways to help your household or business reduce the rubbish you produce this spooky season with our detailed guides.

  • What to do with pumpkins after Halloween

    Pumpkin waste at Halloween is a seriously scary problem, with millions binned in the UK each year. Discover what to do with pumpkins after Halloween.

  • Halloween waste: Pumpkins heading straight to Britain’s bins

    Up to 18,000 tons of pumpkins to be thrown out by the end of the big day. Is it worth it? The food waste is disgusting.

  • How to have a low waste Halloween

    Halloween conjures up lots of avoidable excess waste every year, from pumpkins to plastic. Use these tips and tricks to have a low waste Halloween.

  • Ideas to reduce Halloween costume waste

    Millions of Halloween costumes end up in landfill every year. Discover ideas for zero waste Halloween costumes and how to dispose of them properly.

  • Ways to reduce Halloween plastic waste

    Halloween plastic waste might be the scariest thing about spooky season. Help cut back with these ways to reduce plastic waste at Halloween.

  • How to manage business waste at Halloween

    Many businesses produce more waste at Halloween having parties and decorating the workplace. Learn how to manage your commercial waste at Halloween.

  • A guide to recycling Halloween decorations

    What should you do with Halloween decorations once October is over? Don’t bin them! Find out how to recycle Halloween decorations in this guide.

  • Should Halloween be banned

    The disposable spooky season is only scary for the environment

    For a year that’s already been quite scary for a lot of people, the spookiest time of year is creeping up on us, and frankly we’re not looking forward to it.

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