Belfast-based recycling firm calls for a green Halloween

Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday after Christmas and millions of used costumes are dumped each year, ISL Waste Management reports

Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday after Christmas and while we all love some dressing up and spooky fun, the consequences are quite scary for our environment.

Thousands of tonnes of plastic rubbish end up in landfill each year, while millions of used costumes are also dumped as a result of the spooky festival, a local waste management company has revealed.

Belfast based ISL Waste Management reports that 18,000 tonnes of pumpkins are thrown away in the UK, while studies have suggested that if every pumpkin carved had been eaten in 2016, there would have been enough to make one bowl of soup for everyone in the country.

ISL claims that the days that follow Halloween are a “nightmare” for the UK’s waste industry, as it struggles to cope with the huge volume of plastic, food, textile and non-recyclable rubbish that is sent to landfill.

“Halloween gets bigger and more commercial every year,” ISL Waste Management’s Barry Donaghy said: “And that means a larger clean-up operation and more consequences for our environment.”

Barry has urged families to move away from single-use merchandise, decorations and costumes and to think of more responsible ways to celebrate the occasion.

“Around £510 million is spent on costumes in the UK each year and seven million of those outfits were thrown out after Halloween 2016,” he said.

Donaghy is encouraging people to cook their pumpkins, recycle their food and plastic waste and where possible, avoid over-buying.

He concluded: “Making DIY costumes and decorations and creating culinary masterpieces from your pumpkins is great fun and much more responsible.”

“We have some great ideas, suggestions and recipes on our website, for anyone who wants to celebrate a green Halloween.”

“Be a saint, not a devil this October!”