Forget ghastly ghouls and witches casting curses, the scariest thing about Halloween in 2022 is plastic. Plastic costumes, plastic cups to hold our autumn-inspired drinks, and plastic décor.
More than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since it became popular in the 1950s. Today, we produce about 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year - that's nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population!
Plastic is everywhere and for many of us, it's integral in our day-to-day routines from self-care routines to essential medication. And with 99% of plastics made from chemicals derived from oil, natural gas and coal – all of which are dirty, non-renewable resources - it's clear we have a plastic problem we need to fight.
Here, we’ve round-up the biggest polluters and ways in which we can ditch the plastic.
Shop the ghost of closet past
Hands up if you LOVE to dress up at Halloween 👋…We sure do!
Each year, more and more people are participating in spooky celebrations and the number of new costumes being produced is having a real negative impact on the environment.
According to the BBC, Halloween costumes being sold by some of the UK’s biggest retailers contain the same amount of plastic as over 8- million plastic bottles - spooky. This will also result in 2,000 tonnes of waste after the celebrations are over.
However, this is a problem that we can avoid. We can shop in our own closets, charity shops or DIY our own costumes. Got a pair of old dungarees hanging in the back of your wardrobe? Perfect scarecrow fit if you ask us. Or maybe an old white dress and an unused tablecloth? Corpses’ Bride.
A sustainable sip of Pumpkin Spice Latte
The one thing a lot of us have in common when Autumn comes around is the love, we have for the pumpkin spice latte. This drink is only ever available up until Halloween, where it vanishes until the following September.
Coffee cups are actually lined with plastic, this keeps our drinks hot and stops the liquid from seeping through the paper. This means they are not yet home recyclable, although some coffee cup disposal points are popping up in city centres, a lot of cups are being sent to landfill.
While it’s great that coffee companies and councils are using their initiative to make disposable cup recycling more accessible, we should be trying to reduce waste - recycling included!
Investing in a coffee cup will help the planet just that little bit more and also, you’ll save a few pennies at your local cafe too! Most cafe’s give out discounts for customers who bring their own cup.
Decorate for Halloween Sustainably.
Obviously, we’re going to buy pumpkins for Halloween, right? They are the ultimate Halloween decor. Instead of opting for a plastic LED Jack-o-lantern, opt for the real thing. But where we buy them and how we get rid of them is really important.
While it might be super convenient to nip down to the supermarket, we suggest supporting your local community directly by purchasing your pumpkins from your local farmers market or pumpkin picking patch. We round up the top 10 places in the UK to get them, with tons more to visit in our recent blog post.
While you’re carving out your pumpkins, remember to save the insides, seeds and all. A lot of people don’t realise you can actually eat the inside of a pumpkin and it’s super delicious. You can make all sorts too. Pumpkin pies, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin soup… the possibilities are endless.
In terms of disposing of your pumpkins, don’t pop them in your general waste bin. According to The Guardian, 8 million pumpkins are usually sent to landfill…that’s a lot of waste. Instead, pop them in your compost bin, donating them to local zoos to be used as fodder, or leave it out for local wildlife like squirrels.
Eco-friendly and low-waste treats.
It’s probably the first year since Covid that we will actually be able to enjoy trick or treating. But the sweet-filled buckets we’re used to dipping our hands into are usually haunted by plastic coated candies.
We know that kids are told to only accept treats in packaging for their health and safety, making some sort of waste unavoidable. Instead of opting for those large plastic bags filled with a load of other mini bags of sweets, hunt down foil wrapped, recyclable or compostable packaged sweets instead.
Whatever type of budget you have, we’re sure your local eco/refill store will have some great stuff to choose from. If you’re not sure where your nearest one is, we’ve done all the work for you. Find My Eco Shop is our local eco shop locator, pop in your postcode and we’ll show you where your nearest spots are.
Ditch the disposables and switch to reusable.
Halloween calls for face paint galore. If Frankenstein’s face paint hasn’t half melted off by the end of the night, he’ll need a good few face wipes to remove all evidence of Halloween fun… Or not. Pair your favourite cleanser with our reusable makeup remover pads and you’re onto a winner, here’s why.
Disposable face wipes have to be one of the scariest polluters out there. According to the Metro, 11 billion wet wipes are disposed of each year causing environmental chaos to our waterways. It was reported that these pesky wipes are responsible for 93% of blockages in UK sewers and are changing the shape of our rivers as they pile up on banks.
So, what’s the solution?
Invest in reusable alternatives. They’re better for your skin, the environment and your bank account.
Our 5-star rated pack of 16 reusable cotton pads are probably the solution to this monumental problem. Made from 70% sustainably sourced bamboo and 30% organic cotton meaning they are naturally antifungal and 100% biodegradable at the end of their lifespan - although that’ll be years and years after purchasing.
They come with a bamboo mesh bag so you can keep them safe whilst popping them in the wash and they’re just £13.99. Whilst that amount is initially more expensive, they’ll actually save you a ton of money over time. Our makeup pads work out at just 1p per use compared to face wipes costing 26p per use.
Got any other tips for a plastic-free Halloween in 2022? We'd love to hear them in the comments!