Halloween is a fun holiday for children and adults alike, but the single-use plastic left behind from parties and Trick-or-Treating can be downright scary.
According to a new cleanup and brand audit report from Break Free From Plastic, food wrappers, made by companies such as Nestlé, are among the top items founds on beaches and in communities across the world.
Plastic food wrappers are not recycled, and the ones that end up in our landfills will stay there, forever.
Do not despair, you can still plan a fun celebration with less waste. Read our best tips for a plastic-free Halloween below.
1. Forgo the plastic treat bucket. A cloth bag works for Trick-or-Treating and can be reused again and again.
2. Choose a plastic-free costume. Avoid costumes made with PVC/vinyl, which are more likely to be contaminated with chemicals called phthalates. Phthalates can disrupt your endocrine system… Scary, indeed! Make your own costume from natural fabrics, repurpose items you already own, or visit a thrift store for the perfect outfit. Celebrating Día de Muertos? Use nontoxic makeup to create the perfect look.
3. Consider an alternative to plastic-wrapped candy. Choose candy in paper boxes or make parents everywhere happy by handing out apples (in season now), small oranges, or art supplies like pencils and crayons. Even better: recycle old crayons into colorful new crayons using this easy method. If your Trick-or-Treaters are friends or acquaintances, you could give out homemade Halloween cookies in a paper bag.
4. Use Real Stuff. Decorate your home with pumpkins, gourds, and autumn leaves. Use leaves like paper to make festive cut outs. Carve pumpkins into Jack-o’-lanterns for spooky decorations—you can even roast and eat the seeds. After Halloween, compost your pumpkins.
5. Throw a Green (and Orange) Party. Hosting a party? Just say no to “disposable” plates and cups. Use your own cups and dishes and wash them afterward. Use real forks and spoons or for an easier option, serve finger foods. Get creative with your Halloween-themed food (shrunken head cider, anyone?)