update 21 10 18: Google have released data on searches for Halloween costumes in 2018. The most popular are Fortnite costumes (video game). The Sun published a feature on the cost of Fortnite costumes. If you follow the links they seem to be made of polyester.
The above infographic has been seen by over 300,000 people on Facebook alone
Lots of us like dressing up for Halloween but did you know that we’ve discovered Halloween costumes and clothing on sale from six major retailers is 90% made from plastic? Or that this is likely to create 2,600 tonnes (2.6 million kilogrammes) of extra plastic waste, if you tot up the weight of plastic and the number of costumes thrown away soon after Halloween ?
That’s a scary amount of new plastic waste – like polyester – going into our environment. Equivalent to over 100 million plastic Coca Cola bottles. Read more about it in our report Fairyland Trust Survey of Plastic in Halloween Costumes and Clothing 2018
This is why we are asking our visitors to The Real Halloween to please not buy any new plastic to make up your outfits. There are lots of ideas on our Dressing Up Page for how to create a great look without new plastic. Plus if you do, we’d love you to enter our Fancy Dress Competition (prizes!).
Last year a study for the campaign group Hubbub found seven million costumes are disposed of once Halloween is over. To do our survey we used the search engines at Amazon, ASOS, H +M, M & S, Next and Top Shop and investigated the amount of plastic involved. So try alternatives like re-using old costumes, or putting together an outfit from charity shops and your wardrobe. After all, Halloween has been celebrated for thousands of years and people would have worn clothes made from materials like cotton, wool, tweed and leather.
Unfortunately plastic is like the undead, it never goes away, and all recycling does is delay the point at which it becomes pollution. Every bit of plastic created which hasn’t been burnt is still in existence, and there isn’t a silver bullet or magic spell which will get rid of it. This is why we have also been working hard to drive out plastic from everything involved with our Workshops and events (more here).
We’ve written to the retailers asking them to stop selling plastic-based costumes in 2019, and also urged other event-holders to go plastic free. You can do your bit by adopting your own unique look which doesn’t haunt the Earth for ever. So dress up, look good and this year, skip the plastic !