Be afraid … be very afraid. We are heading straight into a Halloween Plastic Horror Show. This time of year is a nightmare for single-use, throwaway plastic tat and the shop aisles are full of it. Plastic sweet buckets, plastic masks, plastic decorations, plastic costumes, plastic wrapped treats … plastic, plastic, plastic.
Go back even just a decade and Halloween was about a carved pumpkin and apple bobbing. Now it’s a journey straight to landfill … or worse. The last thing we want to do is spoil the party … so here are our top tips for reducing your plastic impact over the scary season.
A recent report form the Fairyland Trust found 83% of costumes are plastic … and over two THOUSAND tonnes of it was thrown away last year. So here are two tips for the price of one!
Tip one: Make your own. Raid charity shops, the dressing up box and the craft box. Look for material remnants, use old make up & face paints, go mad with food colouring … get creative! It’s great fun, you get a unique outfit … and less plastic.
Tip Two: Costume Swap. Check out online swap groups on Facebook like Penwith Kids’ Clothesline and CRAP Penzance. Set up informal swaps amongst friends and maybe encourage playgroups and schools to set something up too.
Here’s another chance to get creative with the kids or friends. Say no to balloons, plastic bunting, table confetti, plastic hanging skeletons … basically any weird plastic paraphernalia. The biggest message here is to #Refuse plastic tat. It may give a cheap and instant shot of joy/fun … but at what cost? Go for material bunting, have a go at making cardboard cut-out decorations, doilies make great cobwebs and reuse existing decorations.
When stocking up for trick or treaters think about what’s going in the treat bowl. How can you avoid the scary amounts of single-use wrap on sweets and treats? Head to the pick and mix counter at the Weigh Inn to buy individual sweets in paper bags and decant them into smaller paper bags or little bowls for ghouls staying at home. If you have enough time, you can even make mini rocky-road, mini brownies, mini cookies and other home baked goodies to offer wrapped up in paper.
18 THOUSAND tonnes of pumpkin is thrown away after Halloween each year. What a waste … with a simple solution. Let’s eat it! There are loads of really great recipes out there for yummy pies, soups puddings and roasts. Check out Hubbub’s #PumpkinRescue for more scary stats and info
Final note: What is really encouraging is that almost every school in Penzance is signed up to Plastic Free Schools and we have no doubt our mini-ghouls will be totally on it in terms of asking for less plastic and making sure any plastic wrappers they’re given are binned properly. But stuff does get dropped unnoticed, blows away or is forgotten … so remember to pick up as you go or organise a mini street clean on Friday’s school run … after all it is All Saints Day ?