NEWS: Halloween 'plastic fright'

Environmental charity Hubbub is warning against buying Halloween costumes - suggesting people make their own from second hand clothes

They've worked with the Fairyland Trust to look at 324 products sold by 19 retailers and found 83 percent of the material used is polyester - an oil-based plastic. It's estimated all the costumes bought in the UK this year will contain the equivalent of 83 million plastic bottles. Research by Hubbub shows that many costumes are disposed of after the event. The study found

  • 83% of the material in 324 clothing items was plastic

  • based on a sample of costumes, and given that 7m are thrown away each year, this is equivalent by weight to 83 million Coca Cola bottles of waste

  • 69% of the material was polyester

  • 10% was cotton

  • 5% was the plant-based textile ‘viscose’

  • Other research has shown that more than 30m people dress up for Halloween, over 90% of families consider buying costumes, some 7m Halloween costumes are thrown away in the UK each year, and globally less than 13% of material inputs to clothing manufacture are recycled and only 1% of clothing textiles are recycled into new clothes

The report found: "Unless retailers and manufacturers take action to increase the use of nonplastic alternative fibres such as cotton, viscose and lyocell/tencel the huge plastic-waste footprint of Halloween is likely to continue." It added: "Concerned consumers can take personal action to avoid buying new plastic and still dress-up for Halloween, buying from charity shops or re-using costumes to create outfits, or making their own from non-plastic materials but without regulatory action to limit plastic entering the supply chain a comprehensive solution is unlikely to be found. The Fairyland Trust proposes regulation to phase out non-essential plastics from the market. A spokesperson added: "The actual 'plastic footprint' of Halloween is even larger than this survey suggests because it does not take account of things like toys and food packaging specifically produced for Halloween."

Photo: The Fairyland Trust. To see the report click here

Get in touch if you have a plastic free hack to share or come across a product or service deserving support.

  • YouTube
  • @PlasticFreecent