zero waste sweets

Filed in Blog by on September 23, 2011 6 Comments
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old-fashioned-sweet-jarThere are over 1000 posts in the archives and as we’re regularly getting new readers to the site, so what better way for me to remind you of things than recycle my own content?

(It also means less work for me 😉 )

With the shops groaning with ‘halloween’ erm, ‘treats’ I thought it was time for us to do a bit of serious zero waste sweet shopping.

I have to admit to be very bah (mint) humbug when it comes to trick or treating, but I’m quite sure that many of you are kinder and of more generous heart than I, so without further ado, let’s step back in our tardis to June 2008 when I posted “Sugar and Spice” which was about zero waste sweets and treats.

Included were delights such as:


Wine Gums

Fruit Pastiles

Trebor Mints


We highlighted sherbet fountains, which sadly have now switched to plastic, BUT I’ve seen a lot more pick and mix counters dotted around the place and even more sweets sold by weight in newsagents making a comeback. On holiday we spotted two shops selling sweets from glass jars by weight – all the old favourites were there from my childhood.

Since the article we’ve found Barratts candy sticks:

barratt candy sticks in a cardboard box

barratt candy sticks in a cardboard box

So let’s recycle and update the content – what zero waste chocolate, sweets and treats have you found that readers can dish out on Halloween?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (6)

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  1. I’m quite lucky, Living in Lymington we have 2 tradition sweet shops, Truffles, and Candilicous, both of whom specialise in traditional sweets in those gorgeous glass jars, and have great kiddies Pick n’ Mix counters.
    I must admit, I’m one to join the kiddies as I have a penchant for gummy sweets that cant be filled by traditional sweets! That said, I do have a taste for classic coconut ice and often make this at home, with minimal waste!
    Though its very bad for me with all those E numbers. So I do try and buy natural sweets, natural confectionery company etc. Then I am left with a plastic wrapper to dispose of, luckily I’m crafty and I fuse these in the same way I do crisp packets and plastic bags, but its still choosing the less of 2 evils.
    Alot of supermarkets still use paper bags or cups for their pick and mix, which is good. Though I wonder what containers the sweets come in? plastic bags or tubs? Tubs are re-useable but no doubt get thrown away, bags are cheaper…. Its a shame that we have to fight the tide of producers and suppliers just to have a treat, without the rubbish!!

  2. Kate says:

    In the U.S. people are often advised for safety reasons to inspect their kids’ candy and throw out any that isn’t completely encased in a sealed material. We just skip it. We find a halloween party to go to, along with the trick-or-treat at Whole Foods (you can go in costume and they have some disposable packaging but it’s still better than getting a bunch of candy we won’t eat anyway because it too contains plastic). Some extended family thinks I am terribly lame and antisocial at Halloween, Easter, etc. (the only thing worse is that we don’t “do” Santa Claus! Oh the horror! Our children will surely grow up with no imagination…) but we find other ways of building community with our neighbors that don’t involve eating a bunch of stuff that isn’t food or throwing out a bunch of candy wrappers.

  3. LJayne says:

    I don’t go a bundle on Hallowe’en anyway and unfortunately some of the stuff you list above is made by Rowntrees/Nestle which rules it out on other grounds for us. So this year I’ve tried to go for stuff that just has one single plastic wrapping – like crisps are loose in a bag I mean. So I have cinder toffee, chocolate eggs with a hard sugar shell, some soft chocolate eggs that have foil wrappers (which I can recycle) and then some jelly babies, wine gum type sweets as well.

  4. Joanne says:

    I agree with LJayne in that I won’t buy anything produced by Nestle (which also own Rowntrees). I’m also vegetarian for the same (envrionmental) reasons that I am trying to be zero waste so am not ok with jelly babies and other jelly or gummy sweets which use gelatin.

    Not meaning to be a killjoy, but I’m not sure that encouraging overconsumption on halloween in any way is great.

    Don’t even get me started on carving pumpkins for decoration and then throwing them rather than just eating the (tasty tasty 🙂 ) pumpkin.

  5. Hazel says:

    I have LJayne and Joanne’s anti- Nestle stance and wish Cadbury would get up to speed with waste reduction- much as it pains me to say it, Nestle have much better (ie less) packaged sweets, eggs and selection packs.

    Still won’t buy them though, and am very happy to have just discovered that one size of DH’s favourite Galaxy chocolate is still in paper and foil. Hurrah! So why aren’t the bigger bars?

    I don’t do trick or treating either, which makes me most unpopular, though we always do something else fun. The last few years Hallowe’en has been in the holidays, which means we’ve been on a visit to London, a ghost walk in York etc etc, but this year it’s the first day back at school, so I need to get thinking. (I’m not so cruel I’ll make the children stay in and watch the other children out getting sweets!)

  6. Kate says:

    I completely agree…neither “green” nor “healthy” should equal “lame”.

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