Sustainable Living

6 Options for Halloween Candy with Recyclable Packaging

Holidays tend to come with a lot of waste and Halloween is no exception. It’s why Krista and I have both written posts about how to reduce waste on Halloween (Read the post by Krista here and by me here). Halloween candy is, of course, a BIG contributor to Halloween waste, so I wanted to give some options for Halloween candy with recyclable packaging. There aren’t a lot out there anymore, but below are a few for you to consider.

Candy corn with trick or treat sign

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Cardboard vs. Plastic

Packaging of any kind inevitably creates some kind of waste and some kind of impact on the planet. Simply put, producing packaging creates a carbon footprint, but there are lesser evils in the world and I believe cardboard packaging is one of them.

Simply put, plastic doesn’t break down. Well, it does, but only into tiny microplastics that end up in our oceans and food. Plastic that we use today will be sitting in landfills for generations. Carboard, on the other hand, is biodegradable and actually can break down.

Both products can technically be recycled, but plastic candy wrappers a particularly challenging type plastic to recycle. There is a great program in British Columbia for recycling candy wrappers, but the challenge is making sure the wrappers are clean before sending them to the program. In previous years, the soft plastics were simply being recovered and burned for energy. Still a reasonable (though small) step up from having them sit in the landfill. Recently, however, the program has started giving the candy wrappers and other soft plastics one more use by turning them into pellets.

Cardboard is more readily and easily recycled. It can be placed in most household recycle bins and doesn’t need to be transported to another program. Cardboard generally has a lower carbon footprint for production versus plastic which is derived from fossil fuels.

bowl of halloween candy

Halloween Candy with Recyclable Packaging

I went on a mission to find Halloween candy in cardboard packaging and this list is of the ones I found. There aren’t a lot of options out there, but it was worth a look to find some options for Halloween candy with recyclable packaging.

If you are able to and you are only giving treats to those close to you, making your own treats is a great option. But for handing out to the general public, these candies in carboard packages might be good ones for you to consider.

1. Smarties

Smarties seem to be the best option for one that fully comes in cardboard packaging on both the outside and the mini packs on the inside.

Smarties are a Halloween candy with recyclable packaging

2. Sunmaid Raisins Mini Packs

If you’re not afraid to be “that house,” raisins are always an option. As a kid, I lived in the house that handed out raisins, so I understand the hesitance. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find mini packs of raisins without the outer packaging being plastic, but I hope that there’s an option out there somewhere!

3. Nerds

I was able to find both large and small boxes of Nerds at my local London Drugs.

Sweetarts, Nerds small box, Nerds large box are Halloween candy with recyclable packaging

4. Popeye Candy Sticks

Like the mini packs of raisins, these Popeye Candy Sticks have the cardboard packaging, but are wrapped in a plastic outer layer. I still feel this is a better option than hundreds of tiny plastic wrappers, but I don’t know by how much.

Popeye candy sticks are a Halloween candy with recyclable packaging

5. Glosette Raisins and Peanuts

I can no longer find small packages of Glosettes in boxes, but these larger sizes are available.

Glosette raisins, Jolly rancher chews, lindt lindor

6. Other Large Size Candy Options

Similar to the Glosettes, there are a number of larger size candies in boxes, such as Sweetarts, Gobstoppers, Sour Patch Kids, Whoppers, Swedish Berries, Fuzzy Peaches, and Junior Mints.

While I did see Jolly Rancher chews and Lindt Lindor chocolates in their cardboard boxes on my search, the candies inside are still wrapped in plastic.

More Ideas for Reducing Waste this Halloween

Check out these posts for more ideas on reducing your waste this Halloween season:

  1. 4 Ways to Reduce Waste this Halloween
  2. 20 Easy DIY Costumes to Make this Halloween
  3. How to Make Sustainable Lanterns from Upcycled Materials
  4. 7 Ways to Reduce Your Waste This Halloween

I was disappointed I couldn’t find more options for candy with cardboard packaging, but at least there are still a few out there.

What are your go-to, low-waste candy options? Do you have a favourite Halloween candy with recyclable packaging?

Pela phone case image. Drop proof. Compostable. Super Soft.

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