This guide covers Wairarapa only. For other parts of the Greater Wellington Region, please refer to the Zero Waste in the Greater Wellington Region 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. At the end of each district section, we also list community groups, council services and ideas for tricky waste streams in each district, so make sure you read down to that part too!
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!
- 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!
- Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown – sells some unpackaged seasonal food (such as nuts!)
- 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).
- Supermarkets – most supermarkets have bulk bin/pick and mix sections with wholefoods (BYO bags for these). For example, you’ll find bulk bins at Fresh Choice, Greytown, 12 Hastwell St, Greytown and Four Square Martinborough, The Square, Martinborough. However supermarket bulk aisles tend to be pretty expensive, often more so than equivalent ingredients in packets (bah!), and more so than the bulk bins at places like Bin Inn. But look out for when things in the bulk bin aisle in supermarkets are on special because sometimes you can get a good deal!
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!
- C’est Cheese, 19 Fitzherbert St, Featherston – will put cheese cut from the wheel into BYO containers.
- Scotty’s Meats, 18 Jellicoe Street, Martinborough
- Greytown Butchery, 67 Main Street, Greytown
- Kingsmeade Artisan Cheese will put cuts from the wheel into your BYO containers, but only at the Wairarapa Farmers’ Market, 4 Queen St North, Masterton (not at its physical store).
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).
- Baker, 33A Fitzherbert St, Featherston – not only can you get unpackaged loaves of bread here, but there’s complimentary filter coffee too (BYO cup!!)
- 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
- Markets – No two ways about it, if you want to get a good source of unpackaged, often locally grown, produce, markets are the place to frequent! By and large, we’ve found that markets, where you can meet the grower/producer face-to-face, are really great for starting fruitful conversations about waste-free food, and developing relationships and systems that enable you to get your favourite fruit, vege and preserves without the packaging. For example, if the stallholder uses glass jars for packaging, ask whether they will take their empty glass jars back for sterilisation and reuse. 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, Masterton 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).
- Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s entire chocolate range comes in Econic home compostable packaging! Their 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home 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. You can get all these products at Trade Aid Masterton, 96 Queen St, Masterton. You can also find Trade Aid chocolate bars at Four Square Martinborough, The Square, Martinborough and Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown.
- Coffee -Wherever possible, we recommend looking out for places that sell whole or ground coffee beans unpackaged, and bringing your own bag and container to fill. You can do this at Neighbourhood Coffee, The Square, Martinborough. You can also buy unpackaged coffee beans at Bin Inn Masterton. If you’re into instant, go for Trade Aid‘s instant coffee, which comes in home compostable packaging and is available at 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.
KITCHEN/FOOD PACKAGING ALTERNATIVES
- Kuripuni Gift Shop, 437 Queen St, Masterton – sells various Munch products (Wellington-made reusable alternatives to pesky lunchbox waste like plastic cling wrap) and Zeal silicone bowl/pot covers (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)).
- Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown – sells compostable alternatives to things like baking paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- Totem, Fitzherbert St, Featherston – stocks highly popular, unpackaged bars of oil soap.
- Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown – stocks home compostable bamboo toothbrushes.