This guide covers North Christchurch businesses only. For other parts of Christchurch or to read about city-wide council and community services, or city-wide shopping options, please refer to the Zero Waste in Christchurch City homepage.
NB: All our regional guides cover as many low-waste options as we could find for food, drink, kitchen and food packaging, cleaning products and bathroom products – scroll down to view each category.
FOOD OPTIONS (I.E. STORES THAT OFFER LOOSE ITEMS WHICH YOU CAN PUT, UNPACKAGED, INTO YOUR OWN BYO BAGS/CONTAINERS)
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. Here, we list shops that stock all manner of pantry foods loose in bulk bins (or which at least have an option for you to avoid unnecessary packaging), so that you can put these ingredients straight into your own bags, jars, containers and bottles, and skip the packaging!
- Spice Heaven, 205c Hills Road, Edgeware – stocks a range of unpackaged/loose spices in bulk bins.
- Supermarkets – all major supermarkets in Christchurch have well stocked bulk bin/pick and mix sections with wholefoods (BYO bags for these). However they’re pretty expensive, often more so than equivalent ingredients in packets (bah!), and more so than the bulk bins at places like Bin Inn or Piko Wholefoods.
- Fresh Choice Merivale, 189 Papanui Road, Merivale – as well as the usual pricey (but extensive) bulk bin/pick and mix section, this supermarket sells unpackaged lettuce and mesclun, and shiitake mushrooms (hard to find unpackaged!) – just BYO bags.
Places that sell unpackaged meat, sausages, smallgoods, seafood, cheese and/or deli foods who will happily put your unwrapped purchases straight into a BYO container – woohoo!
- Peter Timbs Meats, in two locations: 70 Edgeware Road, Edgeware/St Albans; and 129 Farrington Ave, Bishopdale – fresh cuts of meat, sausages and small goods.
- Traiteur European Butchery, 210 Aikmans Rd, Merivale – a wide range of European style meats
- Fendalton Seafoods, 5 Memorial Ave, Fendalton – fresh fish
- Try your luck with BYO containers at the supermarket delis – Most supermarkets have a deli section offering meat, seafood, olives and other antipasti, salads, lunch foods and more – all unpackaged. Some supermarkets will allow you to BYO container for these goods, while others won’t. It can be hit and miss, often depending on the staff member you talk to. For example, Fresh Choice Merivale, 189 Papanui Road, Merivale is OK for customers to BYO container for any deli foods. It’s always worth asking wherever you shop though!
The following stores bake and sell unpackaged bread and bakery goods (some things in some of these stores might be pre-packed or wrapped in cling film, just avoid those things!). So all you need to do is BYO 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 early enough before they do that (i.e. before 1pm).
- Shirley Bakery, 202 Hills Road, Edgeware
- Cafe Edge & Artisan Bakery, 59 Edgeware Rd, Edgeware/St Albans
- Ma Baker, 1066 Colombo St, Edgeware/St Albans
- Copenhagen Bakery, 409 Harewood Road, Bishopdale
- Most supermarkets (and even some Four Squares) stock unpackaged bread, bread rolls and/or bakery goods in their bakery section – just pop them into your BYO bags!
Markets and other low-waste goodies you might not have thought of
- Keep an eye out for local markets where you can get unpackaged goods like fruit and veg, bread, cheese etc. into your own bags/containers, or where stallholders offer a return/swap system for their packaging. Check out the Zero Waste in Christchurch homepage for more info.
- Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags and are home compostable once they do fall apart. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid. You can get the sugar at Fresh Choice Merivale, 189 Papanui Road, Merivale.
- Crisp On Edgeware, 1066D Colombo St, Edgeware/St Albans – stocks Greenz peanut butter (who encourages customers to return their empty jars for reuse, though their factory isn’t in town and Crisp said they don’t take them back to pass back to Greenz) and loose/unpackaged medjool dates.
- Coffee – wherever possible, we encourage people to find places that sell whole or ground coffee beans unpackaged and have them put in BYO bags/containers. In the North, your only option is to go to one of the many Coffee Culture cafes at 235 Papanui Road, Merivale; 286 Main North Road, Redwood; and at Christchurch Airport. However, there are many, many other roasters around the city, so check out our other Christchurch City guides.
- Tea – as most tea bags have plastic in them, we drink loose leaf teas. So we’re always on the lookout for loose leaf teas that you can get unpackaged. Usually this is not very easy in New Zealand. However, you can take your own bags/containers to fill up with loose herbal teas (and some spices too) at The Herbal Dispensary, 160 Hills Road, Edgeware.
- Milk – Unless Happy Cow Milk opens up again, your best bet will be milk powder from a bulk bin from Spice Heaven, 205c Hills Road, Edgeware, or at one of the three Bin Inns in South Christchurch and East Christchurch. Or get the ingredients to make non-dairy milk (i.e. oats, nuts, threaded coconut or rice) from a bulk bin.
- Beer – look out for places that sell beer on tap and BYO bottles/flagons to fill up. Brewers Union sell local craft beers and can be found at most farmers’ markets in the region; Super Liquor Elmwood, 1 Normans Road, Strowan, has lots of taps ranging from high end craft beer to cheap bog standard beers like Speights etc.; and both North ChCh Liquor King stores – at 17 Papanui Road, Merivale and 153 Cranford Street, St Albans – have craft beer on tap.
KITCHEN/FOOD PACKAGING ALTERNATIVES
Say “no more” to disposable takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles by getting yourself reusables instead! Get reusable water bottles at Steven’s, Northlands Mall, 55 Main Road North, Papanui; and Unichem Pharmacy, 37 Bishopdale Court, Bishopdale.
There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in Christchurch:
- Find the Keep Cup brand at Fresh Choice Merivale, 189 Papanui Road, Merivale; Coffee Culture, 235 Papanui Road, Merivale; 286 Main North Road, Redwood; and Christchurch Airport; and Steven’s, Northlands Mall, 55 Main Road North, Papanui.
- Get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at @cquisitions, Northlands Mall, 55 Main Road North, Papanui.
- Get the very leak proof Frank Green cups at Coffee Culture, 235 Papanui Road, Merivale; 286 Main North Road, Redwood; and Christchurch Airport.
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 Milk Contemporary Baby Store, 184 Papanui Rd, Merivale (though these are wrapped in plastic, unfortunately).
Reusable bags (shopping bags, produce bags and bulk bin bags)
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 Fresh Choice Merivale, 189 Papanui Road, Merivale; and New World, 41 Bishopdale Court, Bishopdale.
Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil
- Beeswax wrap
- Purchase at – Milk Contemporary Baby Store, 184 Papanui Rd, Merivale;
- DIY – it’s way cheaper! You just need to get natural fibre fabric (cotton) and unpackaged beeswax. Keep an eye out at secondhand stores, and fabric and quilting stores for off-cuts of cotton. You can often find unpackaged beeswax at markets, or check the other sections of this shopping guide for where it might be sold in other areas of Christchurch.
- Reusable sandwich bags – you can get Munch reusable sandwich bags and/or wraps from Milk Contemporary Baby Store, 184 Papanui Rd, Merivale.
- Silicone pot/bowlcovers – a good option for storing leftovers in a bowl (other than just putting a plate on top!) or as an alternative to tin foil for roasting (as the covers can withstand temperatures of up to 220 degrees and will also keep hot food warm when transporting). You can buy these at @cquisitions, Northlands Mall, 55 Main Road North, Papanui.
You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Steven’s, Northlands Mall, 55 Main Road North, Papanui.
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:
- You can get the fancy Bianca Lorenne 100% cotton dishcloths at Red Current, Merivale Mall, 189 Papanui Rd, Merivale.
- Try knitted or crocheting your own dishcloths! Just be sure to get 100% natural fibre (e.g. cotton) yarn, not acrylic, nylon, polyester blends. HandzOn, 402A Main Road North, Redwood stocks organic cotton yarn and unpackaged crochet hooks.
- You can find Eco Planet laundry powder (which comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining!) at Fresh Choice Merivale, 189 Papanui Road, Merivale, and New World Bishopdale, 41 Bishopdale Court, Bishopdale.
- For more zero waste cleaning product options, check out our shopping guides for other parts of Christchurch city.
- Bamboo Toothbrushes – 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 Hammersley Pharmacy, 206/202 Hills Rd, Edgeware; Life Pharmacy, 193 Papanui Road, Merivale; Shields Pharmacy, 95 Main Road North, Papanui; and the Go Bamboo brand is stocked at Fresh Choice Merivale, 189 Papanui Road, Merivale.
- Unpackaged Soap – for totally naked bars of soap, head to HandzOn, 402A Main Road North, Redwood; and @cquisitions, Northlands Mall, 55 Main Road North, Papanui.
- Shampoo and Shaving Bars – Shields Pharmacy, 95 Main Road North, Papanui, stocks Ethique‘s range of awesome bar alternatives to toiletries that usually otherwise come in plastic or aluminium bottles – from shampoos and shaving soaps, through to body and facial cleansers and moisturisers. All Ethique’s products come in bar form in home compostable packaging.
- Menstrual Cups – these zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads are available at Life Pharmacy, 193 Papanui Road, Merivale; New World Bishopdale, 41 Bishopdale Court, Bishopdale; and Shields Pharmacy, 95 Main Road North, Papanui.