Lifestyle & Culture

Perhaps the Scariest Part of Halloween is the Amount of Pumpkin Waste

Luckily, an initiative from Hubbub called Pumpkin Rescue will see breweries Toast Ale and Brewdog team up to create a craft beer from the UK's surplus pumpkins.

24.10.2019 | by Kezia Parkins
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Holloween… trick or treating, fancy dress and pumpkin carving. All of these things, while fun and games, equate to waste, waste and more waste. 

Halloween has become Britain’s third most widely celebrated holiday and is huge business for retailers. Not surprisingly, this time of year is the golden hour for producers of pumpkins.

According to the Hubbub Foundation, a spine chilling 15 million pumpkins are binned every Halloween, which is enough to make a bowl of pumpkin soup for everyone in Britain.

Research by Hubbub and stock cube brand Knorr found that around 40 percent of consumers buy fresh pumpkins to hollow out and carve into ghoulish faces to celebrate Halloween, but 60 percent of those admit they do not use the flesh.


Pumpkin Rescue

Five years ago, Hubbub started the initiative Pumpkin Rescue to help save the UK’s pumpkins from their wasteful demise.

The initiative runs numerous events across the country, from carving and cooking workshops to soup tasting events.

Tessa Tricks, the head of food programmes at Hubbub, said: “It’s all too easy for people to forget that Halloween pumpkins are still food. When they are only used for carving this contributes to the £15bn of food waste in UK homes every year.”

This year, Hubbub is teaming up with Brewdog and Toast Ale to create craft beer, “Pumpkin Dubbel.”

Toast ale is the creation of food waste in the UK’s greatest foe, Tristram Stuart, who also runs Feedback, an organisation dedicated to fighting food waste.


Pumpkins will be sourced through Feedback’s Gleaning Network and surplus bread (Toast Ale’s signature special ingredient) from the National Bakery School.

After Halloween, any pumpkins not harvested for commercial use will be left to rot—the Gleaning Network allows volunteers the opportunity to collect and redistribute this surplus.

Toast Ale says that the pumpkin beer will be brewed on the 4th November at Brewdog Tower Hill Outpost, before launching on draught in six Brewdog bars across London on 28th November in time to celebrate Thanksgiving. Proceeds will go to Hubbub to help fix the food system.

If the scary amount of pumpkin waste is not enough for you to think about this Hallows Eve, then consider that fancy-dress costumes will generate a terrifying 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste this year.

Happy Halloween!

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