Halloween horror for food waste

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

Edible pumpkins are being thrown away after Halloween
Edible pumpkins are being thrown away after Halloween

Related tags: Food and drink

Nearly two-thirds of people will throw edible pumpkins away after Halloween, with a quarter planning to bin them instead of taking them to compost or a food waste bank, research by Populus indicates.

In the run up to Halloween it is estimated that more than a million pumpkins are bought in the UK for decorations, the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) claimed.

A whopping 90% of pumpkin sales took place during this period, WRAP added.

Over half of those surveyed (52%) by Populus said more recipes for cooking with leftover pumpkin would help them cut waste. Almost half (42%) said they avoided cooking with leftover pumpkin because its skin and seeds made it a hassle.

According to charity Hubbub, around 18,000t of pumpkin was sent to landfill sites in the UK last Halloween.

‘Ignored a crucial part

Halloween is increasingly popular in the UK, but we seem to have ignored a crucial part of the US tradition: cooking with pumpkins rather than throwing them in the bin,”​ said Trewin Restorick, chief executive and founder of Hubbub.

“With household food budgets under pressure, and 18,000t sent to landfill each year, it’s time we rescued the pumpkin.”

The UK throws away 7Mt of food and drink from homes every year in the UK, with more than half of this food and drink being edible, according to WRAP.

Wasting this food costs the average household £470 a year, rising to £700 for a family with children, the equivalent of around £60 a month, it added.

The Populus poll covered attitudes towards food waste from discarded pumpkins from a sample of 2,067 adults online between October 10–12, 2014.

Related topics: Fresh produce

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