Are Halloween Costumes a Waste?

Are Halloween Costumes a Waste?

Kalea Betancourt (11th), Reporter

Everybody loves dressing up for Halloween, and if not you have got to love admiring the hundreds of different costumes you see each year. Kids and adults every year dress up as everything from Disney princesses, to ironic slapstick costumes, to classic characters like witches, zombies, and ghosts. Popular Halloween costumes this year included Spider-Man, Stranger Things characters, and Batman or Cat woman. Whatever is popular in the media heavily influences a lot of peoples costumes, but have you ever thought about how many costumes, masks, and decorations are thrown away every year? 

Some may re-use or wear a costume again the second year, but many donate them, throw them away or just bury them in the back of their closets, never to be worn again and pick another costume the next year. 

Emily Thornton states in KTRE, “Over 80% of Halloween costumes end up in the landfill.” 

Buying your costumes from thrift stores and reusing costumes from the years prior can help cut down on this waste. When buying a Halloween costume from the thrift store you are not only cutting down on the waste that big corporations make, but you are also saving money for yourself. Making your own costumes from scratch is also another option. 

Student at Pitman High, Kiara Arce in an interview stated, “I keep my old Halloween costumes even if I don’t wear them again. This year I bought my costume from a store online.” 

When asked about if she had ever considered recycling her Halloween decorations and candy wrappers, she replied that she would definitely consider it after hearing about how much waste goes to landfills after Halloween each year. 

Over 2,000 tons of costumes and decorations are thrown away each year. These costumes are made of textiles and plastics that stay in landfills for years. Halloween costumes are produced using non-recyclable oil-based plastics, meaning they don’t deteriorate for quite some time. Your costume from last year is probably sitting in a landfill right now. 

Not to mention the waste of Halloween candy, littering the streets the next morning, using excessive amounts of hard to recycle plastics and wrappers. Just the U.S. produced over 600 million pounds of Halloween candy in 2022 which means just as much waste of wrappers were thrown into landfills. 

What did you do with your costume this year? What are you going to do with it next year and how can you cut down on your waste from this year?