The statistics are shocking – across the UK more than 18,000 tonnes of pumpkins and seven million Halloween costumes will be binned next week.

In weight terms, those Halloween outfits are the same as 83 million coke bottles or 240 four tonne elephants if that’s easier to imagine.

And that does’t even include the millions of plastic toys, lanterns, devil horns etc that will be used. In the next few days we will spend well over £300 million on Halloween stuff.

But that’s enough of the bad news – here’s what you can do about it.

Let’s start with those seven million plus outfits – according to the Fairyland Trust 83% of them are made out of plastic.

One suggestion is to talk to your friends and swap outfits that were used last year. Why spend money when almost the exact same outfit may be lying in a wardrobe near you. The playground as you wait to pick your kids up is the perfect location for a spooky outfit swap.

If that’s not possible then raid your local charity shop. Slightly oversize clothes work well for scary outfits – choose autumn colours and jazz up with gold accessories.

An old evening dress combined with a pair of wellies and some kind of head gear gives a good Halloween look. A hat is always a good addition – the more unusual the better. Stick a couple of feathers and leaves in it – that’s always a bit worrying.

Any good wizard or witch will have a cloak. Old curtains from a charity shop or one of our shops at the recycling centres in Newport, Llantrisant, Treherbert or Maesteg.

Whatever happened to the old sheet with blackened eyes cut into it? Raid your local charity shop and get cutting – it’s that simple.

We just like this picture – they each deserve a bone for putting up with this nonsense..

Zombie outfits are by definition old ripped clothes – why anybody would actually pay for one is astounding.

As the fairyland trust put it: “Think Peaky Blinders crossed with Lord of the Rings.”

Throwing a party?

Gingerbread biscuits in the shape of Halloween themes – quick and easy to make BBC good Food here (the kids should help). This also reduces all those plastic wrappings sweets come in these days .

Decorations – use white napkins – colour in a couple of eyes, scrunch up a bit so they have a kind of head and tie them to a string. (see our cover photo).

Dead flowers – remove the water from the vase a few days before Halloween and let them dry out – dead flowers are spooky.


Halloween is for one night. After that you can cook your pumpkin.

BBC Good Food has loads of recipes

General pumpkin recipes.

Roasted pumpkin recipes

If you don’t cook your pumpkin and don’t have a compost heap in your garden, please put it out on top of your food recycling caddie.

We will pick it up but please don’t leave it till it rots – that will get too messy.

Here’s to a happy plastic free Halloween.