This guide covers East Christchurch businesses only. For other parts of Christchurch, please refer to the Zero Waste in Christchurch City homepage.
Lots of pantry staples – from flours, grains and rice, through to condiments, spices, legumes, nuts, seeds and liquid foods – usually come in single-use packets. These shops stock all manner of pantry foods loose in bulk bins (or operate return & refill systems for their packaging), allowing you to put these goods straight into your own bags, jars, containers and bottles, and skip the packaging!
The following shops sell unpackaged meat, sausages, smallgoods, seafood, cheese and/or deli foods and will happily put these straight into a BYO container – woohoo!
The following stores bake and sell unpackaged bread and bakery goods (in some of these stores some items might be pre-packed or wrapped in cling film, just avoid those things!). Simply BYO bread bag to put the bread/bakery goods into. Some places will bag up their bread later in the day, so you want to get in there before they do that (i.e. before 1pm).
Look out for places that sell whole or ground coffee beans unpackaged, and bring your own bag and container to fill. Going direct to coffee roasters is the best option, but you can also look out for bulk dispensers of unpackaged coffee in other stores (which usually have in-store grinders also). Here are the spots we found that offer these options:
We avoid teabags as most have plastic in them, which we don’t want in our tea or our soil. Using loose leaf tea is an easy way to get around this. The trick is to find somewhere that sells loose leaf tea packaging-free, so you can put the leaves straight into BYO jars/containers! You’ll find loose tea leaves in bulk dispensers at:
Sourcing cow’s milk without the plastic bottles or non-dairy milk without the dreaded Tetra-pak is no mean feat! We’ve found the following options:
Look out for places that sell beer on tap and BYO bottles/flagons to fill up. Breweries are awesome, but lots of liquor stores offer this option too! We found beer on tap at:
Also, don’t forget that most liquor stores do ‘swappa crates’ of beer – i.e. crates of twelve 745ml bottles of classic NZ beer (e.g. Lion Red/Brown, Speights, Tui, Export Gold etc.) which can be returned (when the bottles are empty) and are then sent back to the brewery for sterilisation and refill (a better outcome for glass bottles than recycling because reusing the same bottle over and over requires way less energy and resources than recycling).
Say “no more” to disposable takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles by getting yourself reusables instead! Get reusable water bottles at Marshall’s Health Shop, 110 Seaview Road, New Brighton.
There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in Christchurch:
Plastic shopping bags are a menace, but so too are those plastic produce bags for fruit and vege or the plastic bags often offered alongside bulk bins at bulk stores. You can avoid them by bringing your own bags or buying a set of reusable produce bags. You can get 100% organic cotton produce and bulk bin bags by My Vita Bag at Bin Inn Stanmore Road, 341A Stanmore Rd, Richmond; and Bin Inn New Brighton, 68 Hawke Street, New Brighton. Also, there are locally made reusable ‘wet’ bags sold at 105 Artisan Emporium, 105 Brighton Mall New Brighton.
The following stores stock liquid and/or powdered cleaning products in bulk dispensers – BYO bottles/containers!
We encourage people to move away from using dishclothes, sponges and bench wipes made out of synthetic material (as these leach microfibres and they’re also destined for landfill when they wear down) and to use natural fibre cloths instead. Bin Inn Stanmore Road, 341A Stanmore Rd, Richmond unpackaged cotton muslin cheese cloth (which could be used for many things, including a dishcloth). You can also get locally made 100% cotton cloths by Down By the Sea (Cathie Cowell) at 105 Artisan Emporium, 105 Brighton Mall New Brighton.
These are a great alternative to plastic toothbrushes because they have wooden, home compostable handles (bristles are still plastic and need to be sent to landfill). You can get the Humble Brush brand at Homestead Health, and Life Pharmacy at The Palms, Corner Marshland & New Brighton Roads, Shirley; the Go Bamboo brand is stocked in New Brighton at 105 Artisan Emporium, 105 Brighton Mall and Marshall’s Health Shop, 110 Seaview Road.
Get totally naked bars of soap at:
We’d encourage you to get your everyday toiletries – from shampoo through to shaving soap – in bar form, which means you totally avoid the plastic/aluminium bottles that liquid products usually come in!
There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads. You can get reusable, washable pads at 105 Artisan Emporium, 105 Brighton Mall New Brighton, locally-made (from recycled fabric) by Under Lexi’s Bed.
NB: This section is Christchurch-wide, rather than limited to Christchurch Central.