Halloween is Getting Scarier and Scarier!! But the Scariest Thing May Not be What You Expect…
In Australia, Halloween has become more and more popular over the last few years. It turns out that as a nation, we love to be scared!!
Retailers are stocking more decorations and costumes every year. These do seem to get scarier by the year also!
What is the scariest thing about Halloween?
But are the ghosts and skeletons, the spiders, the severed fingers or blood and gore the scariest things about Halloween? Studies say no, they are not.
What started out with environmentally innocent pumpkin carvings, has now morphed into a holiday of environmental horrors.
Oh, the waste!
Studies carried out in the UK in 2017 and published in the Guardian estimate that 2,000 tonnes of plastic wastes are generated by throwaway Halloween costumes sold through leading retailers. Scary stuff! Keep in mind, also, that this was just in the UK, and just in that year alone.
The study also found that 83% of the materials used to make these costumes were manufactured using oil-based plastics. From an environmental view, it really does not get a lot worse! The growth in popularity of the holiday means that this season is getting scarier and scarier as we go along.
Topping off the horror is the fact that a majority of these plastics – the equivalent of 83 million plastic bottles – will end up in landfill. And we all know the effect these can have on the environment.
If we remember, some plastics can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfill! With other plastic bottles, cutlery and table ware taking 450 years or more to disintegrate. That’s a very long time to recover from the environmental damage resulting from one single night!
It is these things that are becoming the scariest thing about Halloween. And these numbers are only expected to grow.
But aren’t some costumes or decorations recycled?
Not as many as you would think... It turns out that the terror for the environment caused by this holiday continues. Less than 1% of Halloween costumes and the materials used to manufacture these costumes are recycled. That is truly horrifying!!
And there’s more!
At this point, all we have focused on are costumes! We’ve completely ignored other waste areas such as decorations, single use plastic cutlery, plastic table ware, trick or treat bags, party goods and packaging for food or lollies / sweets. These wastes haven’t even dropped into our bucket!
The total cost to the environment and amount of waste from this one holiday is truly getting to the point where they are rivalling even the worst horror movie and sending a chill through even the most horror-hardened soul!
So, what can we do to reduce the extraordinary effects of this holiday?
There are some very simple and easy things that we can do to reduce the impact and reduce the horror of this holiday. We can:
Reuse, swap or recycle costumes.
Use recycled or recyclable materials to make your frightening decorations.
Make sure you recycle plastic materials after they are used.
Choose costumes that are made from renewable materials such as cotton, bamboo, flax, hemp or linen.
Use cloth bags for trick or treat bags. Send the kids out with an Aussie Bread Bag with some decorations on it to collect their sweets.
Reduce the horror
Even these simple steps can help reduce the horror of this holiday for the environment.
So, enjoy your chills and spills in a more responsible way, without the environmental impact overshadowing as the scariest thing!