Another Strike Against Halloween

Another Strike Against Halloween

Halloween candy makes people happy, but it also creates a lot of waste. The Huffington Post reports Americans will buy approximately 600 million pounds of Halloween candy this year– costing a cool $2.6 billion. But after the holiday, nearly all of the tiny wrappers from fun-size candy bars will end up in landfills as they’re difficult to recycle. They’re not meant to be mixed in with our bottles and cans, as the recycling equipment can’t sort them– they’re too small. Also, candy wrappers come in many different types, and the machinery can’t sort them all out. Nicky McCulloch, with waste reduction company Rubicon Global, says, “Recycling is in part about economics– the value of the raw materials you’re collecting needs to exceed the cost of collecting them. Candy wrappers make that math hard because they’re made from low-value plastics. You’d have to collect tens of thousands of wrappers to help make those economics work.” Still, the technology does exist to recycle the wrappers, it’s just only in selective places. Also, Rubicon Global partnered with TerraCycle to launch a “Trick or Trash” program for Halloween this year, in which school teachers could request a recycling box for Halloween candy wrappers which TerraCycle agreed to clean and recycle once the box gets full. Also, some food manufacturers have begun to experiment with wrappers made from recyclable materials. The experts say you can make a difference “by purchasing products that use less packaging and recycled materials.”

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