Britons are expected to generate record levels of food waste over Halloween this year.
More than 8m pumpkins – equivalent to more than 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin flesh – will be heading for the bin because the majority of consumers will not eat it.
About 40% of consumers buy fresh pumpkins to hollow out and carve to celebrate Halloween, but 60% of those admit they do not use the flesh, according to research by the stock cube brand Knorr and the environmental charity Hubbub.
Halloween has become a big money-spinner for retailers. An estimated 10m pumpkins are grown in the UK every year, 95% of which are hollowed out to create ghoulish lanterns.
Meanwhile, the UK’s first commercially brewed beer made from pumpkin flesh that would otherwise go to waste will go on sale at the end of November.
Toast Ale, the social enterprise that three years ago launched a beer made from surplus bread, will brew the Belgian-style pumpkin dubbel using squashes collected by volunteers from local farms.
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.”