Halloween Recycling Tips

Halloween is fast approaching, and we are in the season for buying decorations and costumes. This means, a lot of single use plastics over the next few weeks. Many costumes and candy wrappers are made of plastics that cannot be recycled. We've put together some tips on how to stay eco-friendly this spooky season.


Unfortunately, this is something that we can't really provide any alternatives around. Most candy packaging is made of plastic that cannot be recycled. But, you can look for more eco-friendly candy that comes in small cardboard boxes. A few examples of this are:

  • Nerds

  • Junior Mints

  • Dots

  • Milk Duds


Most costumes are only used one time, are purchased from companies that use many plastics that cannot be recycled, and are usually thrown away or left in the basement for years. Some alternatives to buying those one-and-done costumes include making one from scratch from recycled materials around the home, purchasing a used one from a thrift store, and peek in moms makeup cabinet for anything you could use! Many costume makeup includes microbeads that can get into the water systems. If you do end up purchasing a costume from the store, make sure to save what ever you can for following years or donate to a local charity or thrift shop.


Many Halloween decorations are plastic, and usually get thrown out at some point. Many of these plastics cannot be recycled either. Some alternatives to the store bought decorations can be making your own! Using some materials around your house, including old toilet paper rolls, you can create some fun decorations.

This is also a good activity to do if you have kids! Some crafty ideas for DIY crafts and costumes can be found here. Also, using gourds, old corn stalks, wooden pallets, or even buying your decorations from thrift stores are also some eco-friendly alternatives.


*As always, check with your local recycling center to confirm what you can and can't recycle locally.

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