Spooky Sustainable Cardboard Costumes Combat Plastic Waste this Halloween

October 29, 2021

3 Min Read
cardboard costumers
DS Smith

ATLANTA  – With throwaway Halloween costumes contributing to over 12 million pounds of textile waste generated each year in the U.S., and nearly 85% of costumes winding up in landfills, the holiday can have a scary impact on waste and our environment[1]. As families prepare for spooky season, DS Smith reveals how a little imagination can bring a second life to cardboard boxes found in the home.

The DS Smith Cardstumes Halloween Guide provides parents with all the tips needed to build creative costumes with materials found around the house that can then be recycled after the holiday.  

U.S. consumers are expected to spend a record $10.14 billion on Halloween this year, with most of the spending going to costumes, for a total of $3.32 billion, 27% more than last year[2]. Many of these outfits are made from materials which are difficult to recycle, such as polyester. Not only do ‘cardstumes’ provide a fun, crafty activity for children as they get ready for a night of Trick of Treating, but as they are made from cardboard and are recyclable, they also reduce the waste that is usually generated by Halloween.

“At DS Smith, we’re always on the lookout for ways to reduce plastic use and we’re excited to share these easy-to-follow guides to help families reuse cardboard boxes at home, before ensuring they’re properly recycled,” said Brian Romankow, design and innovation manager, DS Smith North America. “Our ‘cardstumes’ look great and help in the effort to reduce the amount of hard to recycle material used – and the subsequent waste – while providing a fun and educational activity for children on the importance of reuse and recycling.”

Download the free DS Smith Cardstumes Halloween Guide, and share your cardboard creations on social media using the tags #cardstumes #cardboardcrafts.

About DS Smith

DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable, fiber-based packaging worldwide, supported by recycling and papermaking operations. It plays a central role in the value chain across sectors including e-commerce, fast moving consumer goods and industrials. Through its purpose of ‘Redefining Packaging for a Changing World’ and its Now and Next sustainability strategy, DS Smith is committed to leading the transition to the circular economy, while delivering more circular solutions for its customers and wider society – replacing problem plastics, taking carbon out of supply chains and providing innovative recycling solutions. Its bespoke box-to-box in 14 days model, design capabilities and innovation strategy sits at the heart of this response. A Strategic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, North American operations are headquartered in Atlanta, with 15 manufacturing, paper and recycling facilities, totaling more than 2,000 employees.

DS Smith operates in 34 countries employing around 30,000 people and is a Strategic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.


[1] https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/textiles-material-specific-data

[2] https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/shopping/2021/09/22/halloween-costumes-2021-candy-decorations-spending-record/5816767001/

Stay in the Know - Subscribe to Our Newsletters
Join a network of more than 90,000 waste and recycling industry professionals. Get the latest news and insights straight to your inbox. Free.

You May Also Like