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 animal milk without the plastic bottles or vegan mylk 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 Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton (metal); $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton (glass); Portal Jewellery & Design, Shop 1, 1 High Street, Picton (metal); Blue Penguin, 1A Nelson Street, Blenheim (metal); Steven’s, 29-35 Alfred Street, Blenheim (metal); Thomas’s, 54 Market Street, Blenheim (various kinds of metal/plastic bottles); Alyssums, 15 Queen Street, Blenheim (various kinds of metal/plastic bottles); Wairau Pharmacy, 47 Scott Street, Blenheim (metal).
There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in Marlborough:
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 Rethink 100% organic cotton produce bags at Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton, or super affordable 100% cotton produce bags at $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton. Benge & Co Green Grocers, 20 Grove Road, Blenheim – stocks reusable (though polyester) produce bags, while BV Gourmet, 2A Park Terrace, Blenheim stocks zuperzozial washable paper bags. If you’re after reusable shopping bags, at Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton you can get locally hand-crafted reusable shopping bags made from upcycled materials (yahoo!) by Plastic Bag Free Picton, or from the $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton you can get no-sew, upcycled t-shirt bags made from non-saleable t-shirts rescued from local op-shops, 100% cotton shopping bags, and also reusable wet bags!
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 $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton.
The following stores stock a range of liquid and/or powdered cleaning products you can fill your own bottles/containers with:
You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton, Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, Blenheim and Steven’s, 29-35 Alfred Street, Blenheim.
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:
It’s easy to get soap without packaging in Marlborough. 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! Or else, look out for brands that are packaged in refillable or home compostable packaging.