Halloween revellers in the Highlands urged to stay safe and act sustainably as celebrations resume after Covid
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Scots looking to make up for lost time with Halloween celebrations have been urged to stay safe and act sustainably this weekend.
Festivities last year were largely restricted to virtual and outdoor gatherings as lockdown limited the opportunity to hold parties.
But this year, with Covid restrictions eased, large numbers are expected to attend Halloween events and purchase new costumes either online or from shops.
Advice Direct Scotland, which runs the national consumer advice service consumeradvice.scot, said people should be alert when buying new outfits, especially for children.
It has launched a ‘Safety and Sustainability’ campaign which also highlights the importance of reducing waste.
In 2019, an estimated 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste were generated by Halloween costumes in the UK.
And with COP26 approaching, the organisation said it is more important than ever to ensure celebrations are sustainable as well as safe.
A number of safety issues have been flagged up in recent years, including products which easily catch fire, cause skin irritation, or are made with poor quality materials.
Among the issues parents should look out for are the risks of low-budget face paint and make-up, whether or not costumes have flame resistant or CE labels, and the safety of footwear.
They are also urged to keep their children in sight at all times in case something goes wrong with a costume, and consider putting layers underneath fancy dress outfits for additional protection.
Colin Mathieson, spokesperson for Advice Direct Scotland, said: “With Halloween having been so limited last year, it’s understandable people might want to make up for lost time now.
“But it’s so important to ensure the safety of the products you order are up to scratch.
“Like every year, there are a lot of bargains and cheap goods both online and in shops.
“That can lead to problems with quality, and many people have reported concerns in previous years about a lack of fire safety labels and materials causing irritation to skin.
“Parents should be particularly careful when sourcing outfits for their children, and ensure costumes have CE labels and don’t have any sharp or dangerous elements.
“Halloween is all about having fun, but that can all quickly change if the quality of the costumes ordered fall below acceptable standards.
“It’s also important to remember the environment when choosing Halloween costumes.
“Thousands of tonnes of plastic waste have been created in recent years from throwing away single-use outfits.
“A great way to help the planet would be looking at ways to reuse and reinvent outfits, or source materials that don’t have to be thrown away when the celebrations are over.”