The most frightening thing about Halloween is the plastic
PUBLISHED: 14:07 24 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:47 24 October 2018
The Fairyland Trust
Costumes, decorations, sweet wrappers all add up to October 31 being one of the most wasteful days of the year.
With 94pc of families who have children buying a new Hallowe’en costume every year, it is expected to create 2,600 tonnes of new plastic waste which is more than 100m drinks bottles.
Norfolk based charity the Fairyland Trust is aiming to eliminate new plastic from all its events and workshops, and offering advice to families on how to dress up and look good for Hallowe’en without buying new plastic.
Chris Rose from the trust said: “Last year a study for the campaign group Hubbub found seven million costumes are disposed of once Hallowe’en is over, that is the scariest thing about Hallowe’en.
“We are urging families to try alternatives, re-using old costumes, or putting together an outfit from charity shops and your wardrobe. After all, Hallowe’en has been celebrated for thousands of years and people would have worn clothes made from materials like cotton, wool, tweed and leather.”
Their family event the Real Hallowe’en is being held at Bradmoor Woods, Pentney, near King’s Lynn over the weekend of October 27 - 28. It will include a no-new-plastic fancy dress competition.
Sarah Wise from the trust said: “Unfortunately plastic is like the undead, it never goes away, and all recycling does is delay the point at which it becomes pollution.
“Every bit of plastic created which hasn’t been burnt is still in existence, and there isn’t a silver bullet or magic spell which will get rid of it. This is why we have been working hard to drive out plastic from everything involved with our activities.”
High street stores sell a vast array of colourful costumes for boys, girls and adults most being 100pc polyester.
A spokesman for Tesco said: “Tesco are signatories of the UK Plastics Pact which brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain. Members and partners are at the forefront of generating a fundamental change in the way we design, produce, use, re-use, dispose and reprocess plastics.”
Pollution isn’t the only reason to stare clear of plastic costumes as the 90pc polyester and glowing pumpkins can have devastating consequences. In 2014, Claudia Winkleman’s daughter was ‘trick or treating’ with friends when her dress caught fire and she went up in flames, burning and scarring her legs.
10 Ways to have a plastic free Halloween
From decorations, costumes, games and alternative sweets here are 10 ways to have a waste-less Halloween
1. Plastic free foods - toffee apples, homemade chocolates and popcorn, loved by most and include zero plastic.
2. Costumes - upcycle clothes in your wardrobe or from a charity shop.
3. Decorations - make your own. Pine cones make great owls and milk containers can be perfect ghosts.
4. Games - paint used tin cans in a variety of different Halloween characters and throw a tennis ball to knock them down.
5. Exchange - swap costumes and/or decorations with a friend.
6. Trick or treat - fill a reusable bag with sweets instead of plastic containers.
7. Jam jar lanterns - coloured tissue paper and tea light make pretty alternative to torches.
8. Punpkins - carve your own and avoid plastic or styrofoam ones.
9. Make your own witches broom - a long branch, twigs secured with string.
10. Compost - pumpkins make great fertiliser.