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Halloween waste

Pumpkins and fancy dress costumes are heading ‘straight to Britain’s bins’
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

Hundreds of thousands of pumpkins, single-use fancy dress clothes and plastic tat will end up in Britain’s bins by the end of our Hallowe’en festivities.

Unsure what to do with pumpkins and Halloween waste after the trick-or-treaters are gone, we’re most likely to put them out with the rubbish – direct into the landfill bin – according to waste management company BusinessWaste.co.uk.

‘We are up for people enjoying themselves but there’s a lot of waste going on here that could be reduced’, says BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall.

While hard figures for Hallowe’en fancy dress sales are hard to come by, it’s estimated that at least a million items of clothing are sold and then sent to the tip.

Pumpkin waste

‘Unfortunately, most people don’t have a clue what to do with pumpkin flesh’, said Mark, ‘and bins up and down the country are bursting with the stuff because many people still don’t compost. It’s food waste on a grand scale.’

Even at the most conservative estimates, assuming four million pumpkins are sold each year to be hollowed out as Jack-o’-lanterns, BusinessWaste.co.uk says up to 18,000 tonnes of the fruit will be wasted in one week alone.

‘Every year, people are being told to try out pumpkin recipes’, says Hall, ‘but the bottom line is that people are either too lazy, or just don’t like the idea. ‘Pumpkins are a culinary unknown to most people, and the bin is by far the easiest option. It’s a shame because farmers are growing whole fields of these things – just for them to be wasted.’

Beware the bonfire

With Guy Fawkes Night around the corner, Business Waste warns of another festival that encourages wholesale waste.

‘Far be it for us to be party poopers, but we’re asking people to take special care what they throw on their bonfires’, said Mark. ‘Ask yourself if you’re about to burn something toxic, or if it can be better off recycled.’

Click here to read our article about visiting ‘The Home of Halloween’.

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