This guide covers Southern Auckland only. For other areas of Auckland, please refer to the Zero Waste in the Auckland Region post.
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! **CAN YOU HELP US TO UPDATE THIS SECTION** <– get in touch if your fave spot isn’t on here!
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). **CAN YOU HELP US TO UPDATE THIS SECTION** <– get in touch if your fave spot isn’t on here!
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).
The following stores stock a range of liquid and/or powdered cleaning products/ingredients you can fill your own bottles and containers with:
These are a great alternative to plastic toothbrushes because they have wooden, home compostable handles (though bristles are still plastic and need to be removed from the handle and put in a rubbish bin). You can find bamboo toothbrushes at Bin Inn Takanini, Shop 15 Takanini Village Centre; Black Bean Foods, 79 O’Shannessey Street, Papakura; and The Goodness Grocer, 216 King Street, Pukekohe.
are available at Bin Inn Pukekohe, 4a Harris Street, Pukekohe, Bin Inn Takanini, Shop 15 Takanini Village Centre, 30 Walters Road, Takanini.
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. For example, you can get reusable menstrual cups at The Goodness Grocer, 216 King Street, Pukekohe. Also, if you’re interested in reusable cloth pads, get in touch with Sustainable Papakura as they often run cloth pad sewing workshops, or you can also buy some from the amazing United Sustainable Sisters.