Pumpkin waste is the biggest scare this Halloween

Written by: Phillip Simpson | Published:
More than 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin goes to waste over Halloween in the UK
I understand that Pigs like pumpkins, so perhaps people could donate them to local pig farms

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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. 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, a number of schemes to minimise Halloween waste are growing in popularity.

For example, Hubbub – the London-based food distributor – 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.

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, but also demonstrating innovative ways to prevent food from ending up in landfill.

Rather than putting your pumpkin in the bin this week, try something different and opt for an alternative, sustainable solution. It isn’t as scary as you might think!

Phillip Simpson is commercial director of ReFood

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I understand that Pigs like pumpkins, so perhaps people could donate them to local pig farms

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