Pumpkin waste the biggest scare this Halloween

Pumpkin waste the biggest scare this Halloween
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Joshua Resnick

As a celebration of all things spooky, one would associate demons and ghost with Halloween, but the scariest thing, says ReFood UK, is pumpkin waste.

Halloween is now officially the third biggest holiday celebrated in the UK, preceded only by Christmas and Easter.

Families up and down the country continue to embrace the annual event, buying and carving more than ten million pumpkins per year.

However, with only one evening to enjoy the spooky spectacle, Halloween is also serving up a scary food waste problem, says ReFood.

Indeed, more than 18,000 tonnes of perfectly edible pumpkins end up in the bin over the holiday period. That’s the equivalent weight of 1,500 double decker buses, or enough to make a bowl of soup for every person in the UK.

With so much unnecessary waste, the majority of which ends up in landfill, embracing innovative solutions to tackle this Halloween horror is vital.

As such, ReFood has highlighted a number of schemes to minimise Halloween waste are growing in popularity.

For example, London-based food distributor Hubbub has launched a #PumpkinRescue campaign, which comprises everything from carving and cooking workshops to tasting events and recipe ideas from leading UK chefs.

Since its launch in 2014, the campaign has been adopted by 23 towns nationwide and diverted an impressive 25 tonnes of pumpkin waste from landfill.

Philip Simpson, commercial director at ReFood UK said: “At ReFood, we work with businesses across the food supply chain to eliminate food waste to landfill.

“In a partnership with retail giant Sainsbury’s, we’ve help stores across its network develop a more sustainable approach to waste management. As part of the agreement, food waste is collected from a number of Sainsbury’s depots, before being converted into gas, heat and fertiliser at ReFood’s state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion processing facilities.”

Initiatives such as #PumpkinRescue are not only playing an important part in minimising Halloween waste, Simpson said, but also demonstrating innovative ways to prevent food from ending up in landfill.

Rather than putting your pumpkin in the bin this week, Simpson said you should try something different and opt for an alternative, sustainable solution.