This Halloween, Mars and Rubicon are coming together to give trick-or-treaters an easy way to collect and recycle candy wrapper waste.
Mars, one of the world’s largest producers of candy and confectionery, and Rubicon, a recycling digital marketplace company, have joined forces to expand the Trick-or-Trash candy wrapper recycling initiative launched by Rubicon in 2019. is working on Through the program, participants can sign. You’ll receive a recyclable “Trick-or-Trash” bag with prepaid stamps and instructions on how to collect your candy wrapper waste and return it for proper recycling.
Candy wrappers are not recyclable under most municipal recycling programs. That’s why about 600 million pounds of candy wrappers bought in the US each season end up in landfills. The average trick-or-treater he puts out a pound of trash, mostly plastic candy wrappers. Trick-or-Trash aims to give Halloween lovers a simple, fun and free way to get rid of waste.
Mars, makers of candy brands like M&M’s, Skittles and Snickers, know Halloween and company leaders see an opportunity to invest in making the holidays greener. “As an authority on Halloween, it is very important that he invests in packaging recycling, which is one of his biggest opportunities during the biggest season.
On Rubicon’s part, “Our mission is simple: Lean waste,” says Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Dan Sampson. “We want to free people from the landfill model. We want to divert as much waste from landfills as possible.”
Expanding Trick-or-Trash Programs for a More Circular Halloween From Classrooms to Community Hubs
More than 75% of Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, an 11% increase from 2021, and 93% plan to incorporate chocolate and candy into their celebration.
Rubicon’s Sampson explains: “Many of those moments are around the holidays when people spend more on things like candy. More packaging means more waste at a commensurate pace. Most packaging materials are not recyclable, so I had a little fun trying to come up with an idea to address this issue, and that’s where Trick-or-Trash was born.”
Rubicon launched its Trick-or-Trash campaign in 2019, providing schools with recycling boxes of candy wrappers, reaching 450 schools that year. When schools closed during the pandemic in 2020, Rubicon reoriented the program and expanded it to include 750 businesses and community organizations.
The program reached 2,000 schools and businesses by the end of last year and is now expanding again. “Mars gave us the idea to create a Trick-or-Treat bag using the same process as the Trick-or-Trash box,” he says Sampson.
Trick or Treat participants can sign up online and receive their bags at home. The bag can be filled, sealed, and returned with a prepaid return label. “This program is in his fourth year, and with the addition of Mars, it’s bigger and better than ever,” Sampson said.
The Reverse Trick or Treat bags were available online on October 6th and the first 5,000 bags sold out in 5 hours. “The bag was available in all 50 states and he could buy it in all 50 states,” he said, LeBel of Mars. “Word spread quickly. Waco, Texas. and Newark, New Jersey. “Thanks to the incredibly positive response, we’re revisiting what more we can do every hour. This is just one of his steps towards creating a more circular holiday.” He continued Mr. LeBel.
How are candy wrappers and trick or trash bags recycled?
“The composition of the average candy wrapper is usually a mixture of materials, such as cans and bottles, that are not suitable for simple recycling,” Sampson explains. “There is plastic in it, but often it also contains aluminum and other materials. Plus, the wrappers are so small that they are not easily recycled.”
Rubicon’s recycling partner, G2 Revolution, is responsible for processing the Trick-or-Trash bags. At G2’s factory, the bags are emptied onto a conveyor belt, inspected for non-recyclable material, extracted and disposed of. The wrappers are then washed to remove food residue and the clean wrappers are turned into pellets. This is a process material for creating new products. “When you throw away individual wrappers, recycling is almost impossible,” he says Sampson. “If you collect it in bulk, like trick-or-trash, it can be effectively treated and recycled.”
“The beauty of this program is its simplicity,” added LeBel. “It’s consumer friendly, it’s so easy. Most people are trying to do the right thing, so if you can make it easy for consumers to do it, you can do the magic.”
make a move
Reducing waste is an important mission for Rubicon, but Sampson also emphasized the importance of educating young people about sustainability. Halloween is the perfect time to do it. The company has partnered with the National Wildlife Federation to create educational programs, lesson plans and reading lists for children of all grade levels. These are available for free on his website at Trick-or-Trash. “We’ve included this component because it’s important to educate future generations,” he said. “We can help teachers show students how recycling works and its importance.”
The boost from Mars was well-timed as Rubicon is looking to further expand the impact of its Halloween show. said Sampson. “We’re expanding our footprint and making a bigger impact on the waste we generate on Halloween, and Mars is accelerating this.”
This series of articles is sponsored by Mars and produced by the TriplePundit editorial team.
Image courtesy of Mars Incorporated