Zero Waste in the Greater Wellington Region (including Wellington, Kāpiti, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa)

Zero Waste in the Greater Wellington Region (including Wellington, Kāpiti, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa)

Here we have it – a zero waste shopping guide for the Greater Wellington Region (including Wellington, Kāpiti, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa).

As Wellington was our training ground for living zero waste, it was natural for us to scope out the options in the city and the surrounding region, to discover what exciting and forward-thinking businesses and community groups make Te Ūpoko o te Ika home. So, in this guide we have expanded our Wellington-based experience to include as many options as possible for living zero waste in Kāpiti, the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa. It’s a pretty long list, and the region is pretty large, but we thought it best to include all areas in the same post because we recognise that many people move around the region a lot, and may want to know what’s available outside of the immediate area where they live. We hope that the guide is useful. Note, the guide is arranged by area.

Please, if you know of a business that we have missed from this list, let us know! We will happily update this post with any suggestions, provided that the business stocks something that helps its customers to reduce their waste.

For ongoing questions about places where you can go to get specific zero waste items, check out the Zero Waste Wellington Facebook page – it’s a great forum for sharing ideas and seeking tips or recommendations.

Wellington

Zero waste food options (i.e. stores that offer loose items which you can put, unpackaged, into your own BYO bags/containers)

  • Commonsense Organics260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; 96 Johnsonville Rd, Johnsonville – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, and legumes), liquid foods (including vinegars, oils and tamari – note that in some stores you need to ask at the counter for refills as the oils etc. are kept out the back). Also stocks various sustainably packaged foods, including (among other things) Trade Aid chocolate (which come in Econic home compostable packaging), as well as their sugar and coconut oil, and Loving Earth chocolate range (also in Econic home compostable packaging). They even offer free cups of tea – just bring a reusable cup!
  • Moshim’s Foodmart, 2-6 Wilson Street, Newtown – offers a wide range of unpackaged dried food in bulk, including grains, flours and legumes, and lots of spices, as well as some hard-to-find items essential for zero waste living, such as baking soda, salt and other specialty baking/cooking goods.
  • Manga the Foodstore, 218 Riddiford Street, Newtown – another great range of dried foods at very affordable prices. Unfortunately, Manga recently decided to remove their bulk bins in favour of pre-packing their goods in ziplock plastic bags. However, they were happy for us to continue bringing our own bags and containers to fill either directly from out back of the shop or from their ziplock bags which they then reused. It’s always worth asking!
  • Silk Route Spices, 236 Riddiford Street, Newtown – stocks a decent range of legumes, as well some peanuts and rice, in bulk bins.
  • The Nut Store284 Cuba Street, Te Aro – quality nuts, seeds, fruit and spices sourced as locally as possible. Most things are pre-packed in cellophane (which is compostable), but if you drop off your own bags outside of their peak lunch hours (11am-2pm), they can fill them up for you to pick up later – just let them know the quantities you require.
  • V1 Vegan Store, 207 Cuba Street, Te Aro – most things are packaged in this small specialty shop, but they have 3 small bulk bins containing vitamin b12-enriched nutritional/savoury yeast, textured vegetable protein (tvp) and vital wheat gluten. They also sell unpackaged vegan lollies, pies, cakes and slices, and Loving Earth raw chocolate which comes in Econic home compostable packaging.
  • Trade Aid, 82B Victoria St, Wellington CBD – Trade Aid’s chocolate range comes in packaging that is compostable in a home compost! Their 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are compostable also. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid.
  • Moore Wilson’scorner of Tory Street and College Street, Te Aro – most bulk items are packaged here, but they do sell large brown paper bags full of different flour and huge glass jars of olives and the like which you can stock up on. Their fresh department also has some unpackaged cheese rounds that can be sliced to order, so bring you own container and honey wrap to put it in. An industrious person on our FB page also noted that Moore Wilson’s sells 1kg blocks of fresh brewer’s yeast wrapped in paper – you can cut this into cubes, freeze in 2 tsp portions and when you need it, defrost ahead of time and use as you would dried yeast – wow!
  • The Mediterranean Food Warehouse, 42 Constable St, Newtown, Wellington – BYO containers for the deli food, ranging from savoury treats, like olives and pesto, through to sweet delicacies, like turkish delight and very fancy chocolate. Mmm…
  • Indian Spice Land, 189b Willis Street, Wellington CBD – most of what is in this store is packaged, but you can get rice and flour from bulk bins here.
  • Cameron Harrison Butchery, 4A Crofton Rd, Ngaio and 95 Upland Road, Kelburn – welcomes people to BYO containers for cuts of meat.
  • Urban, Johnsonville Shopping Centre – unpackaged fudge, woohoo (BYO container)!
  • Adulis, 6/100 Tory St, Wellington – at this excellent Eritrean and Ethiopian Restaurant you will get a discount if you provide BYO containers for your takeaways.
  • Yan’s Supermarket, 28-30 Hopper St, Wellington – sells loose egg noodle nests.
  • Fruit and vege markets – BYO bags to get fresh produce from large markets at Newtown School on Saturdays, or at the Habourside market outside Te Papa and on the corners of Willis, Victoria and Vivian Streets on Sundays. For a smaller range of local, organic produce and artisan products, check out the Thorndon Farmers’ Market (aka Hill Street Farmers’ Market) on Saturday mornings.

Zero waste drink options

  • Coffee – Wellington is spoilt for choice when it comes to the range of coffee roasteries around, it’s really a matter of preference. Locally roasted coffee is also available in New World supermarket bulk bins around the city, and some have grinders in-store too. If you want to go directly to a roastery, it will be a matter of trial and error and concerted conversation to find out who and where offers zero waste coffee options to put in your own containers. We love Raglan Roast, 40 Abel Smith Street, Wellington; Chaffers Dock, 18 Herd Street, Wellington; 12 Holland Street, Wellington who are not only happy to put freshly ground beans into your BYO container, but for $10 you will get 200g of beans, as well as a regular coffee (!!) All of the Commonsense Organics stores stock coffee beans in bulk, as well as Trade Aid‘s instant coffee in Econic compostable packaging. Trade Aid also stocks this (obviously!)
  • Beer – much like coffee, Wellington is loaded with craft breweries where you can refill your own flagons and bottles (check out the extensive list here). Many liquor stores also stock craft beer on tap where you can refill BYO bottles – places like Regional Wines & Spirits, 15 Ellice Street, or at Glengarry’s, but keep an eye out for other places!
  • Tea – for the best range of different loose tea leaves in bulk, head to The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD. Moshim’s Foodmart, 2-6 Wilson Street, Newtown, also sells loose black tea leaves in bulk.
  • Drinking Chocolate – your best bet is to go to any Commonsense Organics store and get Kokako drinking chocolate which comes in Econic home compostable packaging. Moshim’s Foodmart also stocks cocoa powder.

Zero waste kitchen/food packaging alternatives

  • Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; 96 Johnsonville Rd, Johnsonville – sells Ecostore‘s wooden dishbrush (which has a fully compostable, removeable/replaceable head), bottlewashers, Rethink NZ organic cotton bags for produce and bulk bin fills, Wet-it spongey dishcloths made of cellulose and cotton (so it’s microfibre-free and home compostable at the end of its life), various Munch products (Wellington-made reusable alternatives to pesky lunchbox waste like Glad Wrap), compostable alternatives to things like baking paper, Meals in Steel lunchboxes, reusable drink bottles, beeswax wrap, and unpackaged beeswax from which you can make your own honey wraps.
  • Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington – an absolute treasure trove of waste reducing alternatives for your kitchen and lunchbox!
  • Zealandia Store, 53 Waiapu Rd, Kārori – stocks various Munch products.
  • Iko Iko, 118 Cuba Street, Te Aro – sells Frank Green amazing reusable takeaway coffee cups, Munch beeswax wraps, and metal reusable water bottles.
  • V1 Vegan Store, 207 Cuba Street, Te Aro – you can get some amazing locally made bulk bin bags made by What the Vegan? here.
  • The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD – sells beeswax candles and organic beeswax in glass jars which you can use to make your own beeswax wraps (just BYO container to get it, ask at the counter!). Also sells knitted cotton cloths which can be used as a dishcloth.
  • Vessel, 87 Victoria Street, Wellington CBD – stocks wooden dishbrushs and fully compostable, removeable/replaceable heads, silicone pot/bowl covers (a great alternative to Glad Wrap and tin foil), reusable drink bottles, wooden and natural fibre veggie brushes and cotton washcloths that you could use as a natural fibre dishcloth.
  • Made-It, 103 Victoria Street, Wellington CBD – stocks Cuppa Coffee Cups (NZ-made reusable takeaway coffee cup).
  • Natty, 476 Adelaide Road, Berhampore – stocks beeswax wraps, reusable produce bags, and Spruce spongey dishcloths made of cellulose and cotton (so it’s microfibre-free and home compostable at the end of its life).
  • Tea Pea22 Ganges Road, Khandallah – sells Bianca Lorenne cotton washcloths and Japanese organic cotton mini towels which can be used as dishcloths, Kollab metal water bottles and Gentlemen’s Hardware aluminium lunch tins.
  • Village Green14 Ganges Road, Khandallah – sells Cuppa Coffee Cups.
  • The Mediterranean Food Warehouse, 42 Constable St, Newtown, Wellington – stocks Keep Cup (reusable takeaway coffee cup)
  • 02b Healthy, 7 Johnsonville Road, Johnsonville – sells unpackaged beeswax which you can use to make your own beeswax wraps.

Zero waste cleaning products

  • Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; 96 Johnsonville Rd, Johnsonville – stocks a range of liquid cleaning products you can fill your own bottles with, as well as bars of Dr Bronner’s from you which you can make many of your own cleaning products.
  • Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington – stocks locally-made castille soap by Hopi, which can be used as a base for homemade cleaning products.

Zero waste bathroom products

  • Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; 96 Johnsonville Rd, Johnsonville – sells unpackaged Ecostore bars of soap, and Ethique products (in home compostable cardboard packaging), bamboo toothbrushes and earbuds, menstrual cups, and Greencane toilet paper, which comes in a fully compostable wrapper. Also sells unpackaged beeswax, which can be used in homemade cosmetics.
  • Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington – sells various sustainably packaged soaps and Ethique products, bamboo toothbrushes and earbuds, and various other bathroom products.
  • The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD – this store stocks a lot of base ingredients that can be used for making your own cosmetics including oils (such as almond oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, etc.), beeswax (unpackaged and in a glass jar), cacao butter, and a large range of clays. Although in the shop front these are all packaged in glass jars, if you ask at the counter they’ll put any of them into your own containers from their bulk supply out back. When it comes to their pre-made skin products, at this stage they can’t put them into BYO containers, but they’re working on it (planning to invest in a steriliser) – watch this space.
  • V1 Vegan Store, 207 Cuba Street, Te Aro – sells Eco Brush and Humble Brush bamboo toothbrushes (with wooden, home compostable handles), Go Bamboo home-compostable cotton buds, and Diva Cup menstrual cups.
  • Made Marion Craft, 100 Tory St, Te Aro – sells unpackaged beeswax, which can be used in homemade cosmetics.
  • Foursquare Kelburn, 97 Upland Road, Kelburn – sells Go Bamboo toothbrushes (with the wooden, home compostable handle) and home compostable cotton buds.
  • Koru Hub, 118 The Parade, Island Bay – sells unpackaged soap.
  • Village Green14 Ganges Road, Khandallah – sells unpackaged soap.

Tricky Things, Community Projects and Supportive Networks

  • Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington – will take lots of hard-to-recycle items, including e-waste.
  • Recycle Centre and Second Treasures Shop, at the Wellington Southern Landfill – accepts scrap metal for recyclying, and many different kinds of e-waste.
  • Trash Palace, Broken Hill Road, Porirua – an awesome reuse and recycling centre in Porirua. You can drop off your unused items and if they are able to be recycled or resold, Trash Palace will take them from you! They also accept all whiteware and electrical appliances for recycling or safe disposal. The only items that attract a charge for drop-off are TV screens and monitors – everything else is free! Of course, you can also come to Trash Palace to find second treasures to take away with you at a very reasonable price. Who knows what exciting things you might find…
  • Repair your electronics – there are lots of places where you can get your electronics repaired (which comes recommended if it means you can stop/delay something going to landfill!) LT Campbell, 128 Tory St are excellent for appliance repairs, and Selwyn Andrews in Kelburn (selwynandrews@hotmail.com) repairs various stereo items, does PAT testing and iPhone screen replacements, in addition to general appliance repairs, at very competitive rates. If you’d like to try your own hand at repairing your things, consider going along to a Repair Cafe. The Newton Tool Library runs these semi-regularly.
  • Community gardens – community gardens are where it is at for learning how to grow your own kai, how to compost, and also to get delicious food without the packaging! We love Innermost Gardens in Mount Vic and also Workerbe Oasis in Newtown and Karori, but there are many fabulous community gardens around the city (and also new ones popping up) so keep a look out!
  • Food waste – food waste in a bin gets sent to landfill where it breaks down anaerobically, producing methane (a potent greenhouse gas). No! So, having a composting, warm farm or bokashi bin system at home is key. If you’d like help setting one up or working out what the best system would be for you, organisations like Sustainability Trust and various community gardens around the city offer composting workshops. Alternatively, consider signing up to have your food waste picked up by Kai Cycle for a fee (your compost will then be taken to Workerbe Oasis, that grows food that gets redistributed to people in the city that need it most. If you are a business, you can sign up to Kai Cycle too, or you can also sign up to Kai to Compost where your food waste will get commercially composted at the Southern Landfill (not dumped in the big hole in the ground!) or also Organic Waste Management that also commercially composts your food scraps. If you’d like to break the food down yourself but haven’t got a garden to put into, you can buy your own bokashi bin and deliver the juices yourself to Workerbe Oasis, for free. OR, if you live in Mount Vic, you’re welcome to drop your food scraps off to the compost at Innermost Gardens.
  • Food redistribution – food that is still edible that goes to waste is a crying shame. Across the Wellington region there are some really excellent food redistribution services that are rescuing food from businesses that is not good enough to sell, but is still good enough to eat, and redistributing it to social justice organisations who can pass it on to people who need it most. These excellent organisations include Kaibosh (Wellingon City and Lower Hutt), The Free Store (Wellington City), and Kiwi Community Assistance (Tawa). So if you’re a business with extra food at the end of the day, consider getting in touch with one of these organisations. Also, a shout out to The Free Store, which is working on making its operation zero waste (!) – businesses that work with The Free Store can help them achieve this goal by not repackaging up the food they donate to the organisation.

Hutt Valley

Zero waste food options (i.e. stores that offer loose items which you can put, unpackaged, into your own BYO bags/containers)

  • Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, and legumes),  a range of spices, liquid foods (including vinegars, oils and syrups), and sweets and treats. They also have a peanut butter machine. All Bin Inn around New Zealand stores are currently offering 5% discount when you bring your own containers!
  • Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, and legumes), liquid foods (including vinegars, oils and tamari). Also stocks various sustainably packaged foods, including (among other things) Trade Aid’s chocolate, sugar and coconut oil, and Loving Earth’s chocolate range (compostable packaging).
  • Common Grocer at Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt – this is a community bulk store open to members who sign up. No single use plastic bags are available and members are encouraged to BYO bags/containers. The store stocks a range of dried food in bulk, including grains, flours, legumes/pulses, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. They also stock liquid foods like oil and vinegars. There are various annual “payment” options for membership: paying $1 each time you use the shop and 2 hours per month volunteering at the grocer; $52 upfront and 1 hour per month volunteering at the grocer; or $100 upfront and no time commitment. Members of the grocer can also take part in workshops about how to cook from scratch using the ingredients at the grocer, and make things like natural cleaning products!
  • The Beeple Honey Collective – locally-made honey, from hives across the Wellington region. A large portion of the honey is donated to local charities and low-decile schools, but it’s also available for purchase online (the profits from the sales go into urban food projects and developing Beeple further). Even better, if you buy a jar of Beeple honey, once you’re done with it Beeple will love to have the jar back as they will sterilise and reuse it for the next honey season!
  • Trade Aid Petone, 125 Jackson St, Petone – Trade Aid’s chocolate range comes in packaging that is compostable in a home compost! Their 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are compostable also. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid.
  • The Dutch Shop, 89 Jackson St, Petone – BYO containers to get unpackaged cheese cut off the wheel.
  • La Bella Italia, 10 Nevis St, Petone – great deli food, BYO containers to fill up!
  • Finz, Queens Arcade, 67-69 Queens Drive, Lower Hutt – BYO bags and containers to get beautiful hazelnut products unpackaged. You may need to call in in advance for certain items so that they can be put in your bags at time of packaging. Also sell hazelnut milk in glass bottles which you can return to the store for reuse!
  • Ontrays, 38 Fitzherbert St, Petone – BYO containers to fill up unpackaged goodies at the deli.

Zero waste drink options

  • Coffee – Look around for roasteries where you can BYO your own bags or containers to refill. Otherwise, grab Trade Aid‘s instant coffee in compostable packaging from Trade Aid in Petone or Commonsense Organics in Lower Hutt
  • Beer – Get craft beer on tap filled into your own bottles or flagons at Liquorland Upper Hutt and Liquorland Waterloo. Alternatively, go straight to the brewery to fill up your bottles – there are local breweries in the Hutt Valley, including the wonderful Kereru! For other options, check out this fabulous list.
  • Drinking Chocolate – your best bet is to go to any Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt store and get Kokako drinking chocolate which comes in Econic home compostable packaging. Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson Street, Petone, and the Common Grocer, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Fairfield, Lower Hutt, also stock cocoa powder in bulk.

Zero waste kitchen/food packaging alternatives

  • Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt – sells Ecostore’s wooden dishbrush (which has a fully compostable, removeable/replaceable head), bottlewashers, Rethink NZ organic cotton bags for produce and bulk bin fills, various Munch products (Wellington-made reusable alternatives to pesky lunchbox waste like Glad Wrap), compostable alternatives to things like baking paper, Meals in Steel lunchboxes, honey wrap, and many other products besides!
  • Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt – sells locally made reusable shopping bags, produce bags and lunch/sandwich wraps at low prices, all made from repurposed fabrics.

Zero waste cleaning products

  • Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt – stocks a range of liquid cleaning products you can fill your own bottles with.
  • Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 125 Jackson St, Petone – stocks a wide range of both liquid and powdered cleaning products/ingredients you can fill your own bottles and containers with.

Zero waste bathroom products

  • Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt – sells unpackaged Ecostore bars of soap, and Ethique products, bamboo toothbrushes and earbuds, menstrual cups, and Greencane toilet paper, which comes in a fully compostable wrapper. Also sells unpackaged beeswax, which can be used in homemade cosmetics.

Tricky Things, Community Groups and Supportive Networks

  • Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt – the legend of CUPA spreads far and wide and we can say that it certainly goes above and beyond its reputation in real life. Community Unity Project Aotearoa is an absolutely incredible community centre that runs a huge range of projects that achieve many positive social outcomes, but which also advance zero waste ideas. The membership owned, on-site bulk store Common Grocer is a great example. The centre also runs a range of repurposing projects, rescuing materials that might otherwise go to waste and putting it to good use, for example, rescued timber which is available for purchase from the wood workshop for $1 a metre; and the Sew Good project that repurposes waste fabric into all manner of useful items (any person who is running a community project is welcome to come and take fabric from the fabric bank for a koha too). CUPA also raises organic seedlings which are available for purchase and is home to a seedbank, and they take care of a variety of community gardens, harvesting the goods and working with schools to use the produce for kids’ lunches! There’s also a bike workshop on site and a range of repurposed bicycles available for hire (either for koha or for an exchange of volunteering hours) and a sharing shed that will soon be home to things like camping gear that people can borrow (rather than having to buy new equipment). There are a thousand and one other projects that CUPA runs that achieve multiple positive outcomes, bringing the community together, sharing skills, having fun AND reducing waste. No wonder people all over the country are abuzz about this place! Definitely check it out 😀
  • Earthlink, 25 Peterkin St – accepts various items of e-waste for recycling and safe disposal.
  • Food waste – food waste in a bin gets sent to landfill where it breaks down anaerobically, producing methane (a potent greenhouse gas). No! So, having a composting, warm farm or bokashi bin system at home is key. If you are a business, you can sign up to have Organic Waste Management pick up your food scraps to then take them to be commercially composted.
  • Food redistribution – food that is still edible that goes to waste is a crying shame. The excellent food rescue organisation, Kaibosh, operates in Lower Hutt, redistributing edible food that would otherwise for to waste, and passing it on to organisations who can easily redistribute it to those who need it. So if you’re a business with extra food at the end of the day, consider getting in touch!

Kāpiti

Zero waste food options (i.e. stores that offer loose items which you can put, unpackaged, into your own BYO bags/containers)

  • Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kapiti Rd, Paraparaumu – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, and legumes),  a range of spices, liquid foods (including vinegars, oils and syrups), and sweets and treats. They also have a peanut butter machine. All Bin Inn around New Zealand stores are currently offering 5% discount when you bring your own containers!
  • Commonsense Organics, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, and legumes), liquid foods (including vinegars, oils and tamari). Also stocks various sustainably packaged foods, including (among other things) Trade Aid’s chocolate, sugar and coconut oil, and Loving Earth’s chocolate range (compostable packaging).
  • Trade Aid Kapiti, Shop 41 Coastlands Shoppingtown, Paraparaumu – Trade Aid’s chocolate range comes in packaging that is compostable in a home compost! Their 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are compostable also. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid.

Zero waste drink options

  • Coffee – Look around for roasteries where you can BYO your own bags or containers to refill – places like the Dark Horse Coffee Roastery, 2 Sheffield St, Paraparaumu. Otherwise, grab Trade Aid‘s instant coffee in compostable packaging from Trade Aid or Commonsense Organics in Paraparaumu.
  • Beer – Kāpiti is home to the famous Tuatara Brewery (7 Sheffield St, Paraparaumu), so look no further to fill up your own bottles. Though you can look further, like this list here!
  • Drinking Chocolate – your best bet is to go to Commonsense Organics and get Kokako drinking chocolate which comes in Econic home compostable packaging. Bin Inn also stocks cocoa powder.

Zero waste kitchen/food packaging alternatives

  • Commonsense Organics, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu – sells Ecostore’s wooden dishbrush (which has a fully compostable, removeable/replaceable head), bottlewashers, Rethink NZ organic cotton bags for produce and bulk bin fills, various Munch products (Wellington-made reusable alternatives to pesky lunchbox waste like Glad Wrap), compostable alternatives to things like baking paper, Meals in Steel lunchboxes, honey wrap, and many other products besides!

Zero waste cleaning products

  • Commonsense Organics, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu – stocks a range of liquid cleaning products you can fill your own bottles with.
  • Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kapiti Rd, Paraparaumu – stocks a wide range of both liquid and powdered cleaning products/ingredients you can fill your own bottles and containers with.

Zero waste bathroom products

  • Commonsense Organics, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu – sells unpackaged Ecostore bars of soap, and Ethique products, bamboo toothbrushes and earbuds, menstrual cups, and Greencane toilet paper, which comes in a fully compostable wrapper. Also sells unpackaged beeswax, which can be used in homemade cosmetics.

Tricky Things

Wairarapa

Zero waste food options (i.e. stores that offer loose items which you can put, unpackaged, into your own BYO bags/containers)

  • Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen St, Masterton – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, and legumes),  a range of spices, liquid foods (including vinegars, oils and syrups), and sweets and treats. They also have a peanut butter machine. All Bin Inn around New Zealand stores are currently offering 5% discount when you bring your own containers!
  • Trade Aid Masterton, 96 Queen St, Masterton – Trade Aid’s chocolate range comes in packaging that is compostable in a home compost! Their 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are compostable also. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid.
  • Four Square Martinborough, The Square, Martinborough – offers some bulk options (mostly dried fruit and nuts) and stocks Trade Aid’s chocolate bars, which come in compostable packaging.
  • Fresh Choice, Greytown, 12 Hastwell St, Greytown – offers bulk options.
  • Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown – sells some unpackaged food and Trade Aid’s dark chocolate (which comes in a compostable wrapper).
  • C’est Cheese, 19 Fitzherbert St, Featherston – will put cheese cut from the wheel into BYO containers.
  • Baker, 33A Fitzherbert St, Featherston – sells unpackaged bread. BYO cup to get a complimentary filter coffee!
  • Loopline Olives, 91 Loop Line, Lansdowne, Opaki – refill your BYO bottles with award-winning olive oil at the olivery (also at Bin Inn Masterton or Wairarapa Farmers’ Market).
  • Fruit, veg and farmers’ markets – Wairarapa has lots of lovely markets for fresh produce and other specialty items, whether it’s the Featherston Market on a Saturday or Masterton’s Sunday Car Boot Market, just bring your own bags and containers to avoid waste! At Wairarapa Farmers’ Market, 4 Queen St North, you can get low-waste goodies (for example, Kingsmeade Artisan Cheese will put cuts from the wheel into your BYO containers, Loopline Olives allows you to do oil refills into BYO bottles, and Papa Ora sells delicious kombucha and other dips and tasty treats in glass jars and bottles),

Zero waste drink options

  • Coffee – BYO your own bags/containers to get refills of locally roasted coffee beans (whole beans or ground) at Neighbourhood Coffee, The Square, Martinborough. You can also buy unpackaged coffee beans at Bin Inn Masterton. Otherwise, grab Trade Aid‘s instant coffee in compostable packaging from Trade Aid in Masterton.
  • Milk – get milk from a vending machine in a reusable glass bottle (one-off purchase from the machine) at Clareville Fresh Milk, 60 Chester Rd, Clareville.

Zero waste kitchen/food packaging alternatives

  • Kuripuni Gift Shop, 437 Queen St, Masterton – sells various Munch products (Wellington-made reusable alternatives to pesky lunchbox waste like Glad Wrap) and Zeal silicone bowl and pan self-sealing covers (an alternative to tin foil and Glad Wrap).
  • Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown – sells compostable alternatives to things like baking paper.

Zero waste cleaning products

  • Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen St, Masterton – stocks a wide range of both liquid and powdered cleaning products/ingredients you can fill your own bottles and containers with.

Zero waste bathroom products

  • Totem, Fitzherbert St, Featherston – stocks highly popular, unpackaged bars of oil soap.
  • Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown – stocks compostable bamboo toothbrushes.

Tricky Things

  • Wairarapa Resource Centre, 8 King St, Masterton – accepts e-waste for recycling and safe disposal.
  • Fabrics – if you want to make your own honey wraps, reusable bags or cotton dishcloths, you can get cheap $2 off-cuts of fabric from Evans of Masterton, Cnr Bannister St and Dixon St, Masterton, recycled cotton yarn at The Embroidery Shop, 250 Queen St, Masterton, or reduced cotton pieces at Quilter’s Lane, 50a Queen St, Marsterton.


6 thoughts on “Zero Waste in the Greater Wellington Region (including Wellington, Kāpiti, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa)”

  • Thanks for a great list.
    Re e-waste, the landfill at Linden/Porirua takes electronic household items, which they endeavour to repair for their trash Palace shop

  • Great list, thanks for sharing! Any tips for milk drinkers, and avoiding buying plastic milk bottles? Thanks heaps

    • Kia ora Steph,

      Potentially Manna Milk (https://mannamilk.co.nz/) would be the one to look at – they deliver all over the region and last we heard you may be able to twist their arm to get it to you in a reusable pail rather than the plastic bottles they otherwise use. We hadn’t included them in the list because we haven’t yet gotten around to calling them to see if they can offer this option to people officially. However, you’ve just reminded us that we need to do this, so will get on to it!! Thanks

  • Great list,there’s a few Wellington places I hadn’t heard of. I love berries and would love to figure how to buy berries (fresh or frozen) without plastic in Wellington. Any thoughts on how that could be done?

    • Hi Patricia – yes, berries are a tricky one! the only time we have seen unpackaged, pre-frozen berries in bulk was at a Bin Inn in Rotorua!! So it’s not something you see often. The only solution for frozen unpackaged that we know of is to do a pick-a-berry over summer (so now is the right time of year to look!) and pick your own and then freeze yourself in something like ice cream containers (this does require you to have a freezer with room to store). Liam’s parents go to an organic blueberry farm and do pick-your-own once a year. They manage to do a year’s supply for the two of them in one day! And they eat blueberries every morning. The one they go to costs $10 per kilo – so cheapest year long supply of organic blueberries you could probably find. plus it’s a nice day excursion. Have a look up the Kapiti coast or Wairarapa to see where the closest pick-your-own might be.

      In terms of fresh berries, now is also the time of year to find them! Most of the Wellington fruit and vege markets have unpackaged options for things like cherries and potentially also strawberries etc as the season develops. you can also pick blackberries for free all around Wellington over summer and then freeze them (or eat them fresh) – just make sure they have not been sprayed by council. Last summer we picked kilos and kilos around the city!

      So, there are options but it just requires a little more planning and effort (especially if you want to have the frozen berries all year round). Hope that helps!

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