Forest of Dean residents are being encouraged to reuse more as Halloween approaches to reduce the amount of rubbish going in the bins and in particular to avoid plastic waste.
The taste for all things ghoulish is spreading amongst the UK public and research suggests that a whopping £400m will be spent by the nation in the run up to the celebrations.
Be it the consumption of spooky sweet treats, fancy dress costumes, traditional pumpkin carving or festive fare it’s not hard to see why Halloween is now rated so highly by retailers.
However, after just a few hours much of what we buy will be quickly discarded. All of which add up to a big waste problem.
Wayne Lewis, Head of the Gloucestershire’s Joint Waste Team said: ‘There has been much in the press over the past year about the amount of plastic and micro-plastics invading our environment. While clothes may not be what most people first think about when it comes to plastic, many fancy dress outfits are actually made from polyester, a plastic based material.’
‘Environmental charity, Hubbub, estimates that 33 million people dressed up for Halloween in 2017 but shockingly 40% of costumes were only worn once. Yet Halloween is probably one of the few times in the year where literally anything goes. Whether it’s creating costumes from clothing beyond its best, looking in local charity shops for last year’s castoffs to decorating empty glass jars to make tea light holders we are keen for the public to reuse as much as they can and take a moment to consider just how much rubbish is created for one evening’s entertainment through our purchasing habits.’
However, it is not just plastic outfits, ‘trick or treat’ loot buckets, accessories and party decorations which present a problem at this time of year.
Cllr Sid Phelps, Cabinet Member for the Environment at the Forest of Dean District Council said: ‘It is estimated that 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin is ditched by UK householders at Halloween; that’s enough to provide a bowl of soup for each person in the UK. To stop food waste going in the bin, residents across Gloucestershire are reminded that every local authority in the county offers a weekly food waste collection including here in the Forest of Dean. The message is if you are unable to use up your pumpkin in the kitchen to either recycle it or better still compost it at home.’
Anyone needing a black food waste caddy can pick one up from the Council’s Reception in Coleford or request one to be delivered by calling 01594 810000 or by ordering online at www.fdean.gov.uk
More information about waste minimisation and recycling in Gloucestershire can be found at www.recycleforgloucestershire.com