Unwrapping the Mystery of Halloween Candy Waste

By Andrea Davis on October 23, 2023

Halloween is an extraordinary time of year for those with a sweet tooth. Kids get bags of free candy, and adults get to buy candy on sale after the holiday is over. However, going through so many individually wrapped goodies can leave an aftertaste of guilt or confusion when tossing them.

Your first instinct to cover the aftertaste may be to recycle your wrappers, but is that the correct way to dispose of them?


The quick answer is no. Candy wrappers shouldn’t be put in the recycling—they should be put in the trash, but there’s more to it!

Most candy wrappers are made up of multiple materials. This makes it difficult and expensive to break down and recycle them, which can lead to a larger environmental impact than if they had been thrown away.

If you still want a way to recycle your candy wrappers, paid services like TerraCycle can set up recycling for difficult materials like wrappers.


A great solution to the potential guilt from throwing away so many wrappers is to reduce waste before creating it. One of the easiest ways to reduce wrapper waste is to buy your candy in bulk when you can. Many brands don’t individually wrap their candy when it is packaged in bulk, which means there is less wrapper waste overall.

Of course, this tip isn’t always practical for all situations, especially when you are giving candy away. When buying Halloween candy, another trick is to try and look for candy wrapped in aluminum foil or paper or made from a single material.


Another way to reduce candy wrapper waste is to reuse old wrappers for crafts and DIY projects.

Many wrappers have a colorful layer that can be used for projects to make DIY suncatchers or stained glass. The color can also be a nice addition to collages or creature crafts. Kids can even use transparent wrappers to experiment with making different colors.

Candy wrappers can be wound together to create a wrapper purse or bag. These make great candy collectors for the next year of trick-or-treating and can double as an innovative statement piece!


Holiday seasons can be harder than other times to reduce waste. Balancing sustainability with celebrations can be overwhelming. However, now that you are a candy wrapper expert, you can ditch the aftertaste of guilt for the sweet knowledge that you’re disposing of your candy wrapper properly!