A SHOCKING 15 million pumpkins were carved but not eaten last year at Halloween - enough to make a bowl of pumpkin soup for everyone in Britain.

This amounts to seven out of ten pumpkins carved for Halloween which didn't get eaten - and laid end to end, the uneaten pumpkins would stretch over 2,500 miles, all the way from the UK to Azerbaijan, where pumpkin pancakes are a national dish

Over half of those asked in a survey said they don't think of a Halloween pumpkin as food and one in three mistakenly thought that a carving pumpkin could not be eaten.

New research released today by environmental charity Hubbub and Unilever reveals the shocking number of edible pumpkins set to go to waste this Halloween, at a time when reliance on food banks is at an all-time high.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults found that two in five British households carve pumpkins for Halloween and most of those go for at least two pumpkins.

Eight out of 10 people said they would like to reduce the amount of food they waste, but more than half admitted that they don't think of a Halloween pumpkin as food.

Half of those asked said they had never eaten pumpkin before and perhaps it's this unfamiliarity that leads six in 10 to say they wouldn't know how to cook pumpkin, despite two thirds claiming they are confident they could make a soup from scratch.

Most (73%) of those who had tried pumpkin said they liked it, with pumpkin soup coming out as Britain's favourite pumpkin dish.

This year, Unilever and Hubbub are launching the biggest ever #PumpkinRescue, with over 40 cooking and composting events and festivals taking place across the country.