This guide covers Hutt Valley only. For other parts of the Greater Wellington Region, please refer to the Zero Waste in the Greater Wellington Region 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 coffee in other stores. Here are some spots we found:
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! In the Hutt Valley, you do have options!
Psst! Did you know you can get reusable teabags for your loose leaf teas? Local Hutt Valley company The Native Loom, stocks 100% organic cotton reusable tea bags, sustainably made in India using traditional loom techniques – find The Native Loom stall at markets or you can order online and arrange pick-up if you’re local, to save on shipping packaging!
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 The Table, 274 Jackson Street, Petone, Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt, Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt, and Tigerlily, 103 Main Street, Upper Hutt, Created, 133 Main Street, Upper Hutt (metal and glass)
There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in the Hutt Valley:
Reusable lunch boxes or containers are great to have on you when you’re out and about in case you want to get takeaways, to carry leftovers home with you, or if you find food to forage. You can get Meals in Steel stainless steel lunchboxes and food containers at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt.
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 Rethink produce and bulk bin bags at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt. The incredible Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt sells locally made reusable shopping bags and bulk and produce bags, all made from repurposed fabrics. House of Knives, 171 Jackson Street, Petone sells 100% cotton string bags. Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt stocks a range of reusable carry and produce bags. Also, check out local Hutt Valley company The Native Loom, which stocks 100% organic cotton reusable produce and bulk bin bags, as well as hessian shopping bags, sustainably made in India using traditional loom techniques – find The Native Loom stall at markets or you can order online and arrange pick-up if you’re local, to save on shipping packaging!
Say “no straw thanks” next time you order a drink out and either use your mouth to drink, or get yourself a reusable metal straw instead. If you’re keen on a reusable metal straw, you can get them from The Dutch Shop, 89 Jackson St, Petone, Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone, Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt, Belle La Vie, 265 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt, Created, 133 Main Street, Upper Hutt. Also, check out local Hutt Valley company The Native Loom, which stocks stainless steel straws – find The Native Loom stall at markets or you can order online and arrange pick-up if you’re local, to save on shipping packaging!
The following stores stock a range of liquid and/or powdered cleaning products in bulk dispensers that you can fill your own bottles/containers with:
You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt and Belle La Vie, 265 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni (Dishy). Alternatively, you can get Go Bamboo veggie brushes at Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone, which can also be used as dishbrushes (just without a handle) and which are also totally home compostable, should they ever wear out.
We also 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:
The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:
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.