Pumpkin waste

Whilst the pumpkins on the spectacular RHS Wisley Autumn Produce Display may be heading to the donation stand, RHS catering department or staff to take home, others may not be so lucky…

Carved pumpkin
Photo by Daniel Lincoln on Unsplash

With the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis, war conflicts, seasonal change and shorter days, Halloween may just be the needed uplift. However, of the 30 million pumpkins expected to be bought in the UK for the festivities, 16 million will be thrown out with the household waste (Hubbub). That is roughly 18,000 tons heading to landfill. According to BusinessWaste, it can take a pumpkin more than 20 years to decompose in landfill, compared to eight to 12 weeks in compost to completely break down if chopped up.

The good news is most are locally sourced, as between 10 and 15 million pumpkins are grown and harvested in the UK annually. The recent wet July and August months have ensured a bumper pumpkin crop for UK growers.

Consumers across the country are being urged to opt to eat or pimp (rather than carve) their pumpkins. Crucially though, at the point of sale retailers too, need to help the cause by providing pumpkin purchasers with all the relevant information, campaigns and waste reducing ideas.