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To honor Earth Day’s 52 years of environmental motion, Earth911 is presenting 52 Actions for the Earth. Each week by way of Earth Day 2023, we are going to share an motion you possibly can take to invest in the Earth and make your individual life extra sustainable. Even for those who don’t have a candy tooth, you most likely bask in just a few items of Halloween sweet annually. But all these little sweet wrappers add as much as a scary waste problem. This week, you possibly can spend money on the Earth by recycling Halloween sweet wrappers.
Action: Recycle Wrappers
There’s loads to like about Halloween, and sweet lands close to the highest of the listing for lots of people. But Halloween sweet poses a quandary for moral customers. You don’t wish to be a part of the issue of childhood obesity in America or world child slavery on cacao plantations. You can provide trick-or-treaters more healthy and extra sustainable snacks, and even some enjoyable options to meals, however utterly avoiding individually wrapped, fun-sized candies in October is fairly laborious; Americans purchase 300,000 tons of sweet and 90 million kilos of chocolate simply during Halloween week.
You’re going to need to cope with some sweet wrappers in October. But you possibly can’t put sweet wrappers in the recycle bin. Those little plastic wrappers normally comprise a number of supplies, which makes their restoration troublesome and costly. Recycling can be difficult by the truth that particular person sweet wrappers are a low-volume product, which provides to the technical and financial challenges of assortment and recycling. Unfortunately, their small measurement additionally makes them extra prone to escape the waste stream and find yourself within the ocean as plastic air pollution. Even paper cartons like those containing Nerds and Milk Duds might not be recyclable both. Many of them are plastic-coated.
It’s not cost-effective to separate the odd KitKat wrapper all year long from the recycling stream, however the sheer numbers of Halloween sweet wrappers make it attainable to bundle them. There are two mail-in recycling applications that settle for source-separated sweet wrappers.
TerraCycle gives each pay as you go bins and pouches. The boxes are available in three sizes (the smallest is 11″ x 11″ x 20″) with costs starting from $86 to $218. The pouches are 7.5″ x 10.5″ and value $43. Rubicon’s Trick or Trash bins are the identical measurement as a small TerraCycle field and value $100 for particular person buy. Neither firm’s possibility is affordable, however they do higher replicate the true price of the sweet we eat. Neighbors could wish to pool their assets to share a field.
Fortunately, Rubicon gives an possibility that doesn’t put the burden of disposal prices on particular person households. They provide their bins at no cost to colleges, group organizations, and companies that wish to function assortment factors. Parent teams might arrange a post-holiday wrapper assortment in school, or retailers that take part in neighborhood trick-or-treat applications might select to be a part of the answer totally free.
Act quick to obtain your field in time for Halloween, and if the system works for you, take into account repeating it at Easter – the one vacation that consumes more candy than Halloween.