The Halloween Candy Wrapper Conundrum

The Halloween Candy Wrapper Conundrum

Did you know every year an estimated 600 million pounds of candy is bought in the US for Halloween? If you know me you know that I’m very much here for the sugar, but not so much the packaging. 

There are a few things you can do to try and minimize the amount of plastic in the candy you give out, but if you’ve got trick-or-treaters at home then you know you will inevitably end up with a mountain of candy wrappers as your little ones eat through their stash. 

The question then becomes: “If I don’t want to create waste what can I do with these wrappers?” The good news is there are recycling solutions for candy wrappers! 

Three options for recycling candy wrappers:

1. Candy wrapper collection at Ray’s Reusables

This one definitely only works if you’re in Philly, but I’m a little biased so it’s going at the top. 

Each month Rabbit Recycling and I team up to do a specialty recycling event at the shop, and November’s focus is candy wrappers(and other flexible plastics/snack wrappers)! We will be accepting candy wrappers, bread bags, plastic bags, chip bags, and other snack packaging. 

Participation is free, the only cost to you is the time it takes you to make sure your wrappers are fully CLEAN and DRY. Please be sure to wipe the inside of any wrappers or bags off with a damp cloth to remove any residual food. 

November’s specialty collection is on Sunday 11/13 from 12-4 pm. 

Know what’s really cool? This recycling program is sponsored by members of our community, and November’s event is already fully funded! If you would like to learn more about what our community sponsored recycling programs look like and what it means to be a sponsor take a peek at the info page. 

2. Rubicon Trick or Trash 

Rubicon is a niche recycler who partners with small businesses, schools, and community organizations to collect candy wrappers. 

Depending on where you are, there may already be a rubicon box set up near you, but if there isn’t you might be able to make it happen! Boxes are free for schools, small businesses, and community organizations, so if you can find a spot to host it, they don’t have to provide anything but the space. 

I couldn’t find anything to serve as a ‘rubicon box locator’ but their website states that they have presence in all 50 states, so hopefully that puts one close to you.

3. Mail-order box programs

If you can’t find a drop of program hosted in your area you can host one yourself! Both Rubicon and Terracycle offer mail-order boxes so that you and your network can still get in on the recycling action. 

I’m not sure about the Rubicon box, but the Terracycle box can also be used to recycle snack packaging like granola bar wrappers, and other flexible plastic.

Each one is 11”x11”x20”, and costs between $86 and $100. If you can find a couple of friends to split it with you you can make your own community sponsored recycling drop :)


There you have it! Now go forth and eat that candy (almost) guilt free!

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1 comment

Check out Terracycle…
I heard they might not be recycling at all.

Sandra Folzer

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