Zero Waste in Wellington City

Zero Waste in Wellington City

This guide covers Wellington City only. For other parts of the Greater Wellington Region, please refer to the Zero Waste in the Greater Wellington Region homepage.


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Our heartfelt gratitude to Sugarcube Studios, the creators of EcoSpot, for bringing our guides to life – designing a map for us and creating such joyful imagery to go with it!


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!

  • Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City – a wonderful zero waste refillery run by the founders of Waste-ed. The store stocks a range of dried and liquid foods in bulk dispensers, including grains, flours, pasta, nuts, seeds, legumes, dried fruit, muesli, condiments, spices, vinegars, oils, honey and even chocolate in bulk. The store is also working hard to reduce its own waste, sourcing as much as possible from local suppliers who refill the store’s dispensers, e.g. local Wairarapa EV olive oil in a refillable steel container (rather than olive oil from far overseas that comes in a single-use plastic bladder)! If there are things you’d like to see stocked that aren’t stocked yet, just have a chat with the staff, who are very receptive to suggestions!
  • Commonsense Organics260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk bins (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, legumes, herbs and spices), 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). They even offer free cups of tea – just bring a reusable cup!
  • Moshim’s Foodmart, 2-6 Wilson Street, Newtown – *CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE* offers a wide range of unpackaged dried food in bulk bins, 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.
  • Newtown Green Grocer, 100 Riddiford Street, Newtown – good range of affordable bulk bins stocking grains, legumes, spices, snacks, nuts, seeds, dried fruit.
  • Manga the Foodstore, 218 Riddiford Street, Newtown – another great range of dried foods at very affordable prices. Unfortunately, a couple of years back Manga 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!
  • The Spice Emporium, 31 Coutts Street, Kilbirnie – stocks a wide range of unpackaged dried food in bulk bins, including grains, flours and legumes.
  • 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. There are also unpackaged vegan lollies in stock, just BYO bag/jar!
  • 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. 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!
  • 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.
  • Yan’s Supermarket, 28-30 Hopper St, Wellington – sells loose egg noodle nests.
  • Harriet and George Organic Produce and Wholefoods, 5 Collins Avenue, Linden – get tamari on tap into BYO bottle here.
  • Urban, Johnsonville Shopping Centre – unpackaged fudge, woohoo! (BYO container)
  • Narayan Spices n Food, 10/6 McMillan Court, Newlands – stocks a good selection of bulk bin spices, condiments, grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, just BYO bags!
  • Payal’s Spice Mart, 199 Main Road, Tawa – stocks a small selection of spices and condiments in bulk bins.
  • Himalayan Herbs and Spices, 172 Main Road, Tawa – stocks lots of legumes in bulk bins. Potentially storekeepers could be asked about expanding their bulk bin range as a lot of other items (such as spices) are clearly packed in-store into little plastic bags. They may even be able to fill your own containers from the storeroom out back
  • Supermarkets – all major supermarkets in Wellington 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 Commonsense Organics or Moshim’s.


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!

  • Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City – stocks unpackaged, locally-made tofu – BYO container. Also stocks Terra Nut Cheese vegan cheeses in glass jars you can return to be reused and refilled.
  • Preston’s Master ButchersTorrens Terrace, Wellington – happy to put unpackaged cuts of meat into a BYO container (in fact, encourage it), but they do note that once something has been placed in a container, it can’t be taken out again (so no changing your mind about the weight you want at the last minute!!)
  • Nino’s Fish Boat at The Harbourside Market (outside Te Papa on Sundays) – accepts BYO containers for unpackaged fish!
  • Cameron Harrison Butchery, 4A Crofton Rd, Ngaio and 95 Upland Road, Kelburn
  • Wellington Sea Market, 220 Cuba Street, Wellington City
  • Wellington Halal Meat Limited, 160 Riddiford Street, Newtown
  • Newtown’s Fresh Halal Meat, 155A Riddiford Street, Newtown
  • 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…
  • Island Bay Butchery, 127 The Parade, Island Bay
  • Strathmore Butchery, 506 Broadway, Strathmore Park
  • Johnsonville Fish Supply, 11 Johnsonville Road, Johnsonville
  • Unpackaged live mussels – there are a few stores around town that stock unpackaged live mussels at self-serve counters. We put them straight into upcycled ice cream containers/BYO containers rather than the plastic bags the stores usually provide. You can find unpackaged live mussels at PAK’nSAVE Kilbirnie, 98 Rongotai Road, Kilbirnie;  Countdown Newtown, 3 John Street, Newtown; New World Wellington City, 279 Wakefield Street, Wellington; New World Thorndon, 150 Molesworth Street, Thorndon; New World Newlands, Cnr Newlands Road and Bracken Road, Newlands.
  • Supermarket delis – Most supermarkets have a deli section offering unpackaged meat, seafood, olives and other antipasti, salads, lunch foods and more. All Countdown, New World and PAK’nSAVE supermarkets officially allow you to BYO container for these goods!


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).

  • Leeds Street Bakery, Unit 6/g, 14 Leeds Street, Wellington
  • Arobake, 83 Aro Street, Aro Valley, Wellington
  • Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City – on Fridays and Saturdays at Hopper Home Eco Shop you can get unpackaged, day-old Arobake bread that would have otherwise gone to waste, for a great price! So many wins right here!
  • Pandoro, 2 Allen Street, Wellington CBD; 89 Willis Street, Wellington CBD, 14 Woodward Street, Wellington CBD
  • Prefab, 14 Jessie Street, Te Aro, Wellington – delicious in-house sourdough
  • Starta Bread Kitchen, Leftbank Lane, Cuba Mall, Te Aro – also delicious Wellington Sourdough bread.
  • V1 Vegan Store, 207 Cuba Street, Te Aro – stocks unpackaged vegan pies, cakes and slices, just BYO bag/container.
  • Bordeaux Bakery, 220 Thorndon Quay, Pipitea
  • Brezelmania – German Bakery, 90 Upland Road, Kelburn
  • Newtown Bakery & Cafe, 2 Constable Street, Newtown
  • Hataitai Bakery, 8 Moxham Avenue, Hataitai
  • Nada Bakery, 64 Johnsonville Road, Johnsonville
  • Moore Wilson’s Fresh, corner of Tory and College Streets, Te Aro – stocks a range of locally baked bread unpackaged.
  • 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 – No two ways about it, if you want to get a good source of unpackaged (often locally grown), produce, markets are the place to go! 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. 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. Many of the Wellington markets have local producers of pre-made foods like tofu, noodles, preserves etc. Have a chat to see if you can leave containers with the stall holders for them to fill with your desired product for you to pick up from them the following week, or if the stallholder uses glass jars for packaging, ask whether they will take their empty glass jars back for sterilisation and reuse.
  • Veggie boxes/co-ops – there are lots of fruit, veg + food co-ops around town from whom you can order your veggies each week. Around the country we’ve found that unless these co-ops have a zero waste policy, the fruit and veg will usually be pre-packed, so it’s essential to contact them before ordering and have a conversation about whether the co-op is willing to use reusable bags for your box, or to leave things unpackaged (you may be the first person who’s ever asked, so always good to plant the seed!). Generally, if it’s a local operation, it should be possible to arrange this. If it’s not possible to arrange, we recommend looking elsewhere or simply getting unpackaged fruit, vege and other staples from markets and other stores. Some box and/or co-op schemes to look at are Wairarapa Eco Farm or the organic Bounty Box by Harriet & George in Linden.
  • Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home compostable when they do wear out. 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 these products at Trade Aid, 82B Victoria St, Wellington CBD or Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie.


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 coffee in other stores. Here are some spots we found:

  • Raglan Roast at multiple locations – 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 made up for you on the spot)
  • Havana Coffee Works, 163 Tory Street, Wellington
  • Midnight Espresso, 178 Cuba Street, Wellington
  • Prefab, 14 Jessie Street, Te Aro
  • New World Wellington City, 279 Wakefield Street, Wellington
  • New World Thorndon, 150 Molesworth Street, Thorndon
  • Wellington City Commonsense Organics (260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro).
  • Depending on stock, you may be able to find Peoples Coffee beans in bulk at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City. 


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:

  • Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City – the most zero wastey option – you’ll find both Heke Homemade Herbals teas and Wellington based Ritual Tea in bulk (both these teas arrive in Hopper Home’s dispensary either through the empty dispensers being refilled when empty, or through compostable brown paper bags).
  • The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD (ask at the counter to have them put into BYO jars/containers).
  • The Kilbirnie Commonsense Organics store (37 Rongotai Road, Kilbirnie) stocks a selection of loose tea leaves in bulk too. 
  • Moshim’s Foodmart, 2-6 Wilson Street, Newtown, sells loose black tea leaves in bulk (however, this store is temporarily closed).


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:

  • Refills of cow’s milk – milk refills are available through Eketahuna Country Meats at the Habourside market on Sundays – simply BYO bottle to fill up, or purchase a reusable glass bottle there that you can then refill on future occasions. Eketahuna Country Meats also sell their milk at the Riverbank market in Lower Hutt, or at their shop in Masterton. 
  • Cow’s milk delivery in reusable glass bottles – You’ve got TWO options!
    • Eketahuna Country Meats do home delivery of milk in reusable glass bottles (just like the old days!) across the Wellington Region – to check out which day they deliver to your area, you’ll need to begin the registration process on their website. You’ll have milk delivered to your door in reusable glass bottles (just like the old days!) – leave your empty bottles out on the next delivery day so they can be returned to Eketahuna Country Meats for sterilisation and refill. YAY!
    • MannaMilk is a raw milk company delivering raw milk all across the Lower North Island, including drop-off points throughout Wellington. The milk is delivered in single-use plastic bottles, which isn’t zero waste. HOWEVER, you can request that the milk be dropped-off in a reusable 10L pail, which you can pour into BYO bottles. As this is a large quantity of milk, you can either get a lot and freeze some, or go in with a group of others and share the milk and the cost between you. You can see MannaMilk’s delivery routes, days and drop-off points here.
  • Milk Powder in bulk bins – available at Moshim’s Foodmart, 2-6 Wilson Street, Newtown. 
  • Return & Refill glass bottle scheme for non-dairy mylk – The Brothers ColdPress, 2/19 Arthur Street, Te Aro, Wellington sells almond milk in reusable glass bottles at their store, but also at Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie. Simply return the bottle when it’s empty and they’ll sterilise and reuse it, so the bottles can go around and around – yay!
  • Non-dairy mylk paste – find some of the amazing Vigour & Vitality plant-based mylk butters at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City – simply add the butter to water and either blend or froth up to become mylk. At Hopper Home Eco Shop these butters are sold in bulk – just BYO jar. Once empty, the bulk glass container is sent back to V&V to be washed, sterilised and reused – yus!


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).


  • Drinking Chocolate – get cocoa powder from a bulk bin at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City or Moshim’s Foodmart, 2-6 Wilson Street, Newtown.
  • Juice – find apple juice on tap (subject to availability) at Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie. Alternatively, The Brothers ColdPress, 2/19 Arthur Street, Te Aro, Wellington, sell all manner of juices in glass bottles that, once empty, can be returned to them for sterilisation and reuse – yay! You can also find these products at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; and Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie.
  • Ginger beer – head to Hopper Home Eco Shop and get Hardy Boys ginger beer and lemon, honey, ginger drinks in glass bottles you can return to Hopper Home, who will take them back to Hardy Boys to be sterilised and refilled!


NB: Many of the below items are stocked by The Hippie Straw – a local Wellington business focused on affordable reusables. They’ve got an online shop, but to avoid packaging cost/waste, find them and their products in person at the Harbourside Market on Sundays, and at the Wellington Underground Market on Jervois Quay.
 

Reusable drinking vessels (cups and water bottles)

Say “no more” to disposable takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles by getting yourself reusables instead! Get reusable water bottles at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City (glass); Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie (metal); Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; Cre8tiveworx, 217 Cuba Street, Wellington CBD (metal); Iko Iko, 118 Cuba Street, Te Aro (metal); Vessel, 87 Victoria Street, Wellington CBD (metal); Wellworks Pharmacy, 75 Taranaki Street, Wellington (metal); Tea Pea22 Ganges Road, Khandallah; The Gift Shack, 4/210 Main Road, Tawa (metal).

There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in Wellington:

  • Find the Keep Cup brand at Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington; Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; The Mediterranean Food Warehouse, 42 Constable St, Newtown, Wellington; Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; and Moore Wilson’s, corner of Tory and College Streets, Te Aro.
  • Get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; Made-It, 103 Victoria Street, Wellington CBD; Cre8tiveworx, 217 Cuba Street, Wellington CBD; and Village Green14 Ganges Road, Khandallah.
  • Get the made-in-Hutt Valley Ideal Cups at Wellworks Pharmacy, 75 Taranaki Street, Wellington.
  • Locally made ceramic cups with silicone lid are sold at The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD.
  • Get the very leak proof Frank Green cups at Iko Iko, 118 Cuba Street, Te Aro; and The Sugar Trade, 14 Collins Avenue, Linden.
  • The Joco brand at Coffee 86, 86 Lambton Quay, Wellington; Cre8tiveworx, 217 Cuba Street, Wellington CBD; and The Gift Shack, 4/210 Main Road, Tawa.
  • The SoL Cup at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City.
  • Think Cup, similar to Joco, are sold at The Axe, 193 Adelaide Road, Newtown.
  • Sup NZ stainless steel cups are sold at Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington

Reusable lunch boxes/containers

Reusable lunch boxes or containers are great to have on you when you’re out and about in case you want to get takeaways, to carry leftovers home with you, or if you find food to forage. You can get Meals in Steel stainless steel lunchboxes and food containers at Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; and Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington (who also now stock Sup NZ stainless steel reusable takeaway bowls). Gentleman’s Hardware aluminium reusable lunch tins can be purchased at Tea Pea, 22 Ganges Road, Khandallah. If you’re after a cutlery wallet to keep your reusable cutlery set in while out and about, you can find locally-made ones by Waste-ed at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; and Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington.

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. For a great range of locally-made and/or 100% organic cotton produce and bulk bin bags check out Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington and also Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City. Otherwise, you can get 100% organic cotton produce and/or bulk bin bags by either Loot or Rethink at Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington; and Natty, 476 Adelaide Road, Berhampore. V1 Vegan Store, 207 Cuba Street, Te Aro stocks locally made bulk bin bags by What the Vegan.  For an alternative to a plastic shopping bag, get locally-made Boomerang Bags from Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington.

Reusable straws

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 Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington; Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; Cre8tiveworx, 217 Cuba Street, Wellington CBD; and The Gift Shack, 4/210 Main Road, Tawa. 

Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil

  • Beeswax wrap 
    • Purchase at – Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie (the Munch brand); Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington (Lily Bee Wrap brand); Iko Iko, 118 Cuba Street, Te Aro (Munch brand); Cre8tiveworx, 217 Cuba Street, Wellington CBD (Honeywrap brand); The Axe, 193 Adelaide Road, Newtown; Natty, 476 Adelaide Road, Berhampore; and The Gift Shack, 4/210 Main Road, Tawa. 
    • 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 stores for off-cuts of cotton, or see if you can get some upcycled natural fibre fabric from Vinnies Re Sew, Mezzanine Level, St Vincent De Paul’s, 32 Rongotai Road, Kilbirnie or see whether there’s anything appropriate in the reject fabric bundles from the Curtain Bank (0n sale at Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington). Get unpackaged beeswax at Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington; Made Marion Craft, 166 Cuba St, Te Aro; 02b Healthy, 7 Johnsonville Road, Johnsonville; and The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD.
  • Reusable sandwich bags – you can get Munch reusable sandwich bags and/or wraps from Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; and Zealandia Store, 53 Waiapu Rd, Kārori.
  • 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 Vessel, 87 Victoria Street, Wellington CBD. 
  • Fabric food covers – available at Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington
  • Silicone freezer bags – reusable bags for freezing meat and other food are available at Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington – they’re pricey, but will last your lifetime and can replace soft plastics for freezing.


Refills of cleaning products

The following stores stock a range of liquid and/or powdered cleaning products in bulk dispensers that you can fill your own bottles/containers with:

  • Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City – stocks products made by Figgy & Co. When the store’s bulk dispensers are empty they get returned to Figgy & Co for refill – so it’s really low-waste! 
  • Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington – similar deal to above, with OurEco products – the bulk dispensers get taken back to be reused/refilled, yay!
  • Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie 
  • Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington

Low-waste dishwashing

You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington; Vessel, 87 Victoria Street, Wellington CBD; New World Thorndon, 150 Molesworth Street, Thorndon; and The Axe, 193 Adelaide Road, Newtown.

Also, you can get wooden veggie brushes with plant fibre bristles which can also be used as dishbrushes (they just don’t have a handle) at Cre8tiveworx, 217 Cuba Street, Wellington CBD; New World Thorndon, 150 Molesworth Street, Thorndon; The Axe, 193 Adelaide Road, Newtown; and Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie – as these are made only of bamboo and plant fibre, they’re home compostable should they ever wear down. 

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:

  • For something more like a traditional dishcloth sponge, check out the SPRUCE or Wet-it! 100% cotton + cellulose dishcloth sponges (home compostable at the end of their life) which are available at Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington; Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; and Natty, 476 Adelaide Road, Berhampore.
  • 100% cotton, hand knitted dishcloths are sold at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City or 100% organic dishcloths from Vida Textiles, 27A Webb Street, Te Aro, Wellington City.
  • At The Axe, 193 Adelaide Road, Newtown; and Tea Pea, 22 Ganges Road, Khandallah you can get the fancy Bianca Lorenne cotton dishcloths.
  • Alternatively, find 100% cotton cloths that can be used as dishcloths at The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD (subject to availability as they are handknitted by a local) ; Vessel, 87 Victoria Street, Wellington CBD; Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington (also stocks 100% cotton/rayon cloths); and Tea Pea, 22 Ganges Road, Khandallah.
  • If you’re after a coarser scrubby, you can get 100% coconut fibre coarse scrubby from Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie.

Laundry

  • Eco Planet and Next Generation laundry powder both come in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining! You can get one or the other (or both) from New World Wellington City, 279 Wakefield Street, Wellington; New World Thorndon, 150 Molesworth Street, Thorndon; New World Newtown, 195 Riddiford Street, Newtown; Pak’nSave Kilbirnie, 98 Rongotai Road, Kilbirnie; Four Square Hataitai, 1 Moxham Avenue, Hataitai; New World Newlands, corner of Newlands Road and Bracken Road, Newlands; and New World Tawa, 35 Oxford Street, Tawa.
  • Soapnuts – natural nut shells that release saponin (like soap) in water and can be used for laundry. Once spent, the shells can be composted. Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City stocks the SoapNuts NZ brand that come only in a cardboard box with no inner plastic lining.
  • Laundry soap bars – get the Fair + Square brand at Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington; and Ethique laundry bars at Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington
  • The Axe, 193 Adelaide Road, Newtown – sells bars of laundry soap that come with a natural fibre/wooden scrubbing brush (all packaged only in a strip of paper and two cotton ties). They also sell a general household cleaner version so you can avoid buying various cleaning products in plastic bottles.
  • Non-plastic clothes pegs – Go Bamboo pegs available at Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; New World Tawa, 35 Oxford Street, Tawa; and Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie.

Ingredients for DIY cleaning products

  • Baking soda – available unpackaged in bulk bins at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; and Moshim’s Foodmart, 2-6 Wilson Street, Newtown.
  • White Vinegar – locally-made Figgy & Co distilled white vinegar sold on tap at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City. Another brand of white vinegar also sold in bulk at Commonsense Organics
  • Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City stocks a variety of other DIY cleaning/bathroom products ingredients, so go in and have a look around!
  • Essential Oils – get your refills of essential oils (as well as other products) at The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD.
  • Bars of castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) – locally made castile soap by Hopi is available at Four Square Kelburn, 97 Upland Road, Kelburn. The other option is Dr Bronner’s castile bars (made in the USA), which are available at Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie. Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington also stocks dishwash bars made by Fair + Square. BUT you can also get locally-made liquid castile soap by Figgy & Co on tap at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City.


NB: Many of the below items are stocked by The Hippie Straw – a local Wellington business focused on affordable reusables. They’ve got an online shop, but to avoid packaging cost/waste, find them and their products in person at the Harbourside Market on Sundays, and at the Wellington Underground Market on Jervois Quay.

Zero waste teeth and mouth

  • Bamboo toothbrushes – 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 Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD; Foursquare Kelburn, 97 Upland Road, Kelburn; New World Thorndon, 150 Molesworth Street, Thorndon; Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington; V1 Vegan Store, 207 Cuba Street, Te Aro; New World Wellington City, 279 Wakefield Street, Wellington; and Wellworks Pharmacy, 75 Taranaki Street, Wellington.
  • Dental Floss – Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington; Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; and The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD all stock Do Gooder floss, which comes in a refillable glass tube with a screw on metal lid. The WHITE floss is made of 100% silk and is home compostable (the black, bamboo and activated charcoal floss has polyester in it so is landfill only). When you run out of the floss, no need to get a new dispenser, you can get refills of the floss in a cardboard box from all stockists listed above – just pop the refill into your original metal/glass dispenser.
  • Toothpaste – natural toothpaste powder available unpackaged in bulk bin, as well as flouridated toothpaste tablets by Dent Tab (BYO container for all of these) at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City. At Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD you can get a variety of natural toothpastes made by Kerikeri company Nature Body, which come in glass jars that you can return to Nature Body, when empty, for sterilisation and refill.

Unpackaged Bars of Soap

It’s easy to get soap without packaging in Wellington. The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:

  • Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City (locally made by Underground Soapery).
  • Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie
  • Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington
  • The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD
  • Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington
  • Koru Hub, 118 The Parade, Island Bay
  • Village Green14 Ganges Road, Khandallah
  • The Gift Shack, 4/210 Main Road, Tawa

Bars for Shampoo/Shaving/Deodorant/Moisturiser

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!

  • Many places stock the popular Ethique range which includes shampoo bars, conditioner bars, shaving bars, deodorant bars, moisturiser bars, etc. (all of Ethique‘s bars come in home compostable packaging): Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; V1 Vegan Store, 207 Cuba Street, Te Aro; Cre8tiveworx, 217 Cuba Street, Wellington CBD; Wellworks Pharmacy, 75 Taranaki Street, Wellington; and Farmers, 206-218 Lambton Quay; and 46-54 Bay Road, Kilbirnie.
  • If you’re into an all-in-one bar, you can get the Global Soap Shave, Shampoo and Body bar made with beer (:-D) from Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; and Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington (also stocks a range of shaving soaps).
  • Check out local company Underground Soapery who make shampoo bars (among other things) – you can buy their products online, at Hopper Home Eco Shop, or find them at one of the markets in the Wellington region.
  • You can get shampoo and shaving bars by Marlborough company Jeymar Soap & Body from Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie.
  • A couple of Wellington shops stock deodorant in compostable cardboard tubes. Nature Body is sold at The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD; and another brand at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City.
  • Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington – stocks Simple Naked Soap shampoo bars, as well as Dunedin-made Pitstop Power deodorant bars in a home compostable cardboard box + home compostable baking paper (you can buy a plastic refillable tube of this brand first time off, but we reckon it’s unnecessary and a bar alone does just fine!)

If you’d like to get unpackaged natural deodorant in bulk straight into your own containers, you can get this at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City.

Reusable Menstrual Products

There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads.

  • Menstrual cups – stocked at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; V1 Vegan Store, 207 Cuba Street, Te Aro; Unichem Cuba Mall, 122 Cuba Mall, Wellington; Madame Fancy Pants, 225 Cuba Street, Wellington CBD; Wellworks Pharmacy, 75 Taranaki Street, Wellington; New World Wellington City, 279 Wakefield Street, Wellington; and New World Thorndon, 150 Molesworth Street, Thorndon.
  • Reusable, washable pads are available at Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; and Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington.

Shaving

Avoid plastic shavers that are designed to be disposable and go for 100% metal razors that will last you decades and only require the 100% metal and recyclable blades to be replaced (or sharpened with a leather strop!), and remember to use a bar of shaving soap instead of shaving foam that comes in an aerosol can (see above) – note, you’ll need a shaving brush to make this work. You can buy razors, replacement blades, shaving brushes, and even leather strops from Lambert’s Luscious Men’s Grooming Specialists, Shop 214, Left Bank, 116 Cuba Street, Wellington, and razors and blades from Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; and Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington. Or else if you’re just after a shaving brush, you can also get these from Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; 96 Johnsonville Rd, Johnsonville; The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD; Cre8tiveworx, 217 Cuba Street, Wellington CBD; The Axe, 193 Adelaide Road, Newtown; or Newlands Pharmacy, 33 McMillan Court, Newlands.

Liquid Toiletries on Tap

The following stores stock a range of liquid bathroom products on tap that you can refill your own bottles with:
  • Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City – stocks locally-made liquid toiletries. When the store’s bulk dispensers are empty, they return back to the manufacturer for refill – zero waste!
  • Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington – stocks a wide range of Ecostore products on tap, as well as Neuma Organic shampoos. 
  • Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie also stocks Ecostore liquid bathroom products on tap.

Ingredients for DIY Toiletries/Cosmetics

  • Baking Soda is an essential ingredient in lots of homemade toiletries such as toothpaste and deodorant. You can get it unpackaged in bulk from Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City; Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; and Moshim’s Foodmart, 2-6 Wilson Street, Newtown.
  • The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD store stocks a lot of unpackaged, base ingredients that can be used for making your own cosmetics including refill options for oils (such as almond oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, etc.), organic essential oils, beeswax, cacao butter, epsom salts, and a large range of clays. Just BYO bottles and containers and ask for them to be filled!
  • Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City stocks heaps of ingredients for DIY cosmetics/toiletries in bulk bins and they also run workshops on making these kinds of products, so definitely go down to the store, check it out, and ask for recipes!
  • You can also get unpackaged beeswax from Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Made Marion Craft, 166 Cuba St, Te Aro; The Wellington Apothecary, 110a Cuba Mall, Wellington CBD

Other

  • Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City sells a few cosmetics/toiletries in bulk that you wouldn’t find just about anywhere else without packaging – e.g. deodorant, blush, zinc sunscreen, and more!
  • Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie; Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; V1 Vegan Store, 207 Cuba Street, Te Aro; Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, Wellington; and Foursquare Kelburn, 97 Upland Road, Kelburn.
  • Toilet Paper – Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield Street, Te Aro; 37 Rongotai Rd, Kilbirnie stocks Greencane toilet paper (which comes in fully home compostable packaging). Hopper Home Eco Shop, 11 Hopper Street, Te Aro, Wellington City stocks Smartass toilet paper (also packaging in fully home compostable packaging).


Reuse and Recycle

  • Food waste and composting – food waste in a bin gets sent to landfill where it breaks down anaerobically, producing methane (a potent greenhouse gas). No! Here are some alternatives:
    • Home composting/worm farms/bokashi – Having a composting, worm farm or bokashi bin system at home is the best and cheapest way to deal with your food scraps. If you’d like help setting one up or working out what the best system would be for you, organisations like Sustainability Trust in Wellington City, Cannons Creek Community Pantry in Cannons Creek, the Green Gardener in Kāpiti, and various community gardens around the region offer composting workshops.
    • Food scrap collections – If you’re in Wellington City, 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 have your food waste picked up by Kai to Compost or Organic Waste Management, both of whom take the food scraps to be commercially composted at the Southern Landfill (not dumped in the big hole in the ground!). Organic Waste Management services Lower Hutt and Porirua as well as Wellington City.
    • Dropping off your food scraps somewhere – 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, check if you can drop food scraps off at the compost bin in your local community garden. For example, if you live in Mount Vic, you’re welcome to drop your food scraps off to the compost at Innermost Gardens, or in Hataitai you can drop your scraps at the Hataitai Community Garden at the old Hataitai Bowling Club. There’s also a community compost at Aro Valley.
    • Edible business food waste – 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), The Share Shack (Aro Valley), Kiwi Community Assistance (Tawa) and Waiwaste (Wairarapa). 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.
  • E-waste – electronic waste is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, with huge environmental implications because of the toxins that can be leached from this waste, but also the loss of incredibly precious resources embedded in these items that are not recovered when the waste is dumped in landfill.
    • Repair – Rather than throwing you broken electronics out – have you considered trying to get them repaired first? You could pay someone to do it. For example, LT Campbell, 128 Tory St are excellent for appliance repairs. Looking for parts? The Recycle Centre and Second Treasures Shop takes apart broken gadgets and appliances and sells them or their usable parts on their Trademe account – it’s worth a good look! Also 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 or Fix-it Cafe where experts donate their time to fix people’s broken items for free at a designated repair event (usually run by community centres, churches or councils). The Newtown Tool Library runs these semi-regularly, as does the Carterton Fix It Lab.
    • Recycle – If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to be recycled responsibly. You can do this at the Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; the Recycle Centre and Second Treasures Shop, at the Wellington Southern Landfill; Trash Palace, Broken Hill Road, Porirua; Earthlink, 25 Peterkin St, Wingate, Lower Hutt; Masterton, Carterton & Martinborough Transfer Stations (these drop-offs are FREE); or Wairarapa Resource Centre, 8 King Street, Masterton. For some of these items, you will have to pay to recycle them (until the Government starts to regulate manufacturers of these products), but it’s a small cost relative to damage these items otherwise cause in landfill. E-waste drop offs for recycling is FREE at the Masterton, Carterton & Martinborough transfer stations.
  • Tip Shops/Recycling + Reuse Shops – For all your recycling and reusing needs, look out for reuse shops at local landfills. There’s the Recycle Centre and Second Treasures Shop, at the Wellington Southern Landfill, Landfill Road (off Happy Valley Road); Trash Palace, Broken Hill Road, Porirua; Earthlink, 25 Peterkin St, Wingate, Lower Hutt; and Wairarapa Resource Centre, 8 King Street, Masterton. If you’ve got a hard-to-recycle item or something that’s still functional but which you no longer want, rather than chucking such things out, take them to one of these reuse shops and see if they’ll accept them. The Second Treasures Shop has loads of great items for sale on their Trademe account – it’s worth a good look! Furthermore, if you’re ever in need of a new one-off purchase – from materials for a home fit-out, cuts of wood, building materials, through to cutlery, appliances, furniture or other knick knacks – consider coming to shop here first, before going to buy something new. You might be amazed by what you find (and the low cost)…

Zero Waste Information and Support Networks

  • Waste-ed – a local social enterprise formed to educate and advocate around waste consciousness in Wellington City. Waste-ed runs heaps of workshops, events, information sessions, and campaigns that provide information and solutions for Wellington’s waste, as well as actions individuals can take to reduce waste in their own lives. Waste-ed also has an online shop selling locally-made products that help with low-waste living (like reusable snack bags, cutlery wallets and beeswax wraps). Check out their website, which has heaps of resources and listings for upcoming waste-related events.
  • Zero Waste WellingtonZero Waste WairarapaWaste Free Kapiti Facebook pages/groups – these are great forums for sharing ideas about low-waste living in the local area, seeking tips or recommendations, or staying on top of local activities and actions that you might like to be a part of. Worth signing up to if you are a Facebook user.
  • Plastic Free Kāpiti – a Facebook page set up by Paekākāriki local Rachel Benefield who lives plastic free with her family of 5. The page intends to support households and individuals aiming to live without plastic.
  • Para Kore – Para Kore is an amazing organisation working with marae, kura and Māori institutions and businesses to transition towards zero waste. Their resources/services are free and their regional kaiārahi are totally fabulous. Para Kore’s Kaiārahi for Te Upoko o te Ika is Te Kawa Robb – if you’re keen for some awhi with waste reduction, he’d be stoked to hear from you 🙂

Share and Exchange

  • Toy Libraries – reduce the wasteful over-consumption of toys and save money by joining a toy library! Check out this guide to find the nearest Toy Library to you.
  • Tool Libraries – no need for every person and his or her dog to own a set of tools when we can all share them and reduce the over-duplication of resources. There’s a tool library in Newtown, and a tool library in Cannons Creek run by the Cannons Creek Community Pantry.
  • The Share Shack in Aro Valley – as well as a place you can get free rescued food that’s still good to eat, The Share Shack has a bunch of stuff for free like clothes, books, toys and lots of other household items and bits and bobs. There’s even a wall of ‘boomerang’ tools – just borrow and bring back. You can donate unwanted items in good condition to The Share Shack too.
  • Crop Swap – At a crop swap, individuals who have veges or seedlings they’ve grown, preserves or baking they’ve made (or similar), or even home-made knitting/crochet (etc.) crafts (anything made or grown by your hands), come together once a fortnight or once a month, to trade their offerings without any money changing hands – all free! Just bring something to share and let the swapping begin! Trading homegrown or home created goodies with friends and locals means you can avoid all that packaging that often comes with a store setting. You can also have friendly chats about how to share goods without the waste. There’s a monthly crop swap in Wellington at the Newtown Cultural and Community Centre.
  • Timebanking – Through timebanking you can share skills and services without the exchange of money, making it a great way to reduce waste on a budget because you can harness skills of creating and repairing that exist in your community (repairing broken clothes or electronics, for example), or having someone pass these skills on to you (how to garden, how to build). Perhaps you have some of these skills already that you could pass on to someone else for time credits? The Wellington Timebank is thriving and well worth getting involved with, if you aren’t already! There are also timebanks in Lower HuttPoriruaUpper HuttWairarapa and one running out of the Common Unity Project Aotearoa in Epuni.
  • The Sharing Shelf (outside The Petone Depot, 8/193 Jackson Street, Petone) – a wee shelf where anyone can come down and drop off produce, a book or some other useful item for someone else to take, for free! Likewise, anyone can take something they fancy. You don’t have to drop something off every time you pick something up – there are no formalities. The wonderful art of sharing means that excess produce doesn’t go to waste. Furthermore, items can be shared without excessive amounts of packaging.

Skills and Resourcefulness in Communities

  • Community gardens/urban planting – community gardens are an excellent way for residents to get kai without packaging, and to learn skills of growing food and setting up composts – both very useful skills for low-waste living. There are some great community gardens around the Greater Wellington Region, including 16 throughout Wellington City9 on the Kāpiti Coast9 in Lower Hutt, and about 5 in Upper Hutt! Another gem is the Petone Food Gardens Network which is guerilla gardening and planting edible food all around Petone – yay! Community gardens are always looking for volunteers to help out and come along to working bees, so if you are interested in picking up gardening skills, or if you are already a keen gardener and would like to have the opportunity to share your skill with others, consider getting involved with your local community garden.
  • Menzshed – there are Menzsheds throughout Wellington Region. Menzshed provides a great opportunity for men of all ages to share tools and a workspace (reducing the wasteful overduplication of these resources) and to pass on skills of woodworking and other trades. Menzsheds frequently offer communities the service of repairing broken items like furniture (at a small cost), work with upcycled material that might otherwise go to waste, and also create bespoke items for community and charitable purposes. Definitely look up your local!
  • Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt – the legend of CUPA spreads far and wide. 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
  • The Petone Depot, 8/193 Jackson Street, Petone – an awesome social enterprise in the heart of Petone that’s getting behind some great reducing initiatives, from supporting Boomerang Bags and the Petone Food Gardens Network, to hosting the monthly CreateSpace where locals who are into anything creative (including crafts, growing, repairing, and arts) can get together to share projects, brainstorm new ones, or have a chance to take part in one of the community’s creative projects (including sewing and growing).
  • Good House Keeping, 287 Cuba Street, is a great store focused on fostering DIY, mending and repairing. The store stocks all manner of items to help you get good at making and mending, to become more resourceful and chuck less stuff out! They’ve really thought about sustainable options in great detail (even supplying bike oil on tap – so you can refill BYO bottles!) Definitely check this store out next time you’re in town, and have a yarn with the owners Lisa or Mark about their tips for resourceful, sustainable living.
  • Mechanical Tempest, 224-234 Riddiford Street, Newtown – got a bike that needs fixing? Found a beat up bike somewhere that looked like it might be get chucked out if not for some TLC? Want to do a bike up to save it from landfill? Have no idea what to do or where to start? Check out Mechanical Tempest – a not-for-profit bike workshop space. Anyone can come and work on their bike here and learn the essential skills for doing so with the support of knowledgeable on-hand volunteers. Sharing tools and a space reduces waste, and getting up to scratch on bike repair techniques will save you money, and potentially also a bike that would otherwise get biffed.
  • Vinnies Re Sew, 32 Rongotai Road, Kilbirnie – a textile recycle/upcycling initiative running out of St Vincent De Paul’s in Kilbirnie. Re Sew takes donated clothing which is not good enough to sell from the Vinnies op shops across Wellington and salvages it as fabric and/or upcycles it. Apart from helping to divert tonnes of textiles from landfill, the programme also provides a place for anyone to come to learn how to sew or to hang out and be creative or to develop work training opportunities.
  • Pins ‘N’ Needles, 6 Perry Street, Masterton – got some broken clothes but not sure how to repair them? Bring them into Linda at Pins n Needles for repairing! Not only will your clothes be as good as new, but any waste fabric from the fixing process, Linda will upcycle into a new creation – thus reducing as much textile waste from landfill as possible. Awesome! You can even check out the store to buy upcycled clothing instead of buying new or even secondhand – the clothes Linda makes for children are just divine! If you’re keen to repair your clothes yourself but just need a bit advice, drop in to Pins n Needles because Linda will surely be able to point you in the right direction 🙂
  • Resilient Carterton – a fabulous umbrella organisation bringing together groups and people that are taking actions that improve resilience in the Carterton community. By and large, a more resilient, self-sufficient community with a thriving local economy is a less wasteful community that is more resourceful and less dependent on imports of packaged goods and cheap throwaways. Have a look at some of the groups, individuals and projects that Resilient Carterton is supporting and promoting.
  • Sewing, crafts, knitting, crochet – We’re of the view that sewing, crafts, knitting and crochet are all key skills for combating waste in our lives (whether it’s the ability to make your own produce bags and beeswax wraps, knit a dishcloth, or repair broken clothes). In Greater Wellington you can find great organisations where you can get involved to either learn or pass on those skills, complete community sewing projects, attend workshops, or simply complete your own sewing projects in the company of others. Great examples are the Sew Good Cooperative at the Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt or Vinnies Re Sew in Wellington City. Thimbles and Threads, 84 Main Street, Upper Hutt also runs lots of affordable sewing classes and is generally very supportive of low-waste, upcycling fabric initiatives! Joining a group that is sewing reusable bags to give out to the community is also a great way to learn to sew while helping to reduce plastic bag consumption and these groups are always looking for volunteers (regardless of whether or not you have prior sewing knowledge). For example, check out your local Boomerang Bags group – there are branches in Wellington CityPetoneLower HuttUpper HuttFeatherston, and Martinborough.



16 thoughts on “Zero Waste in Wellington City”

  • This is such an awesome, thorough list for Wellington!! Thank you so much, I will be referring to it often :))

  • Hey, thanks for the awesome (and very comprehensive) list! Do you have any ideas about package free tofu? Thanks 🙂

    • Hiya Imogen – yes, apparently there’s a guy at the Dixon Street Sunday Market who has a store selling noodles and tofu. All pre-packed at the stall, but if you leave him with a clearly labelled container, he’ll take it back with him and put your order of tofu in and bring it to the next market (so you need to be organised a week in advance to drop your containers off with him).

      • Thanks Sally! Exciting, aye?! This is in the guide already under the BYO Container-Friendly Deli section 🙂

  • Kia ora, any recommendations as to which bulk bin shops listed above are most affordable? We’re making the switch from the supermarket but don’t want our food bills to go up. Cheers!

    • Hiya – in terms of the extent of price difference you are likely to see, it depends on your shopping habits right now. If you are shopping in the bulk bins at supermarkets, you will find that the bulk bins anywhere else you go are generally cheaper than the supermarket bins (even Commonsense bulk bins are cheaper than most supermarket bulk bins). If you were not shopping at supermarket bulk bins but buying packaged food, if you were buying any organic packaged food, it’s much cheaper to buy organic food from a bulk bin than in a packet from the supermarket, so you should notice cheaper bulk bins if you were buying any organic food packaged. In terms of buying pre-made items from a bulk bin instead of from a packet (i.e. buying breakfast cereals, pasta, snacks, chocolate – pre-made stuff – this can be more expensive buying from bulk bins. Personally, our approach is that buying pre-made items from a bulk bin is a treat/one-off occasion only, and generally we only buy wholefoods and we make stuff from scratch from wholefoods if we want it – i.e. we make our own muesli, pasta, snacks etc. – that’s the cheapest option – cheaper than buying premade from supermarket and or from a bulk bin)

      Hopper Home Eco Shop is the most zero waste bulk bin store in Wellington, so we recommend shopping there from a waste reduction perspective. Their food is mostly organic and NZ-grown and it’s very affordable in light of that, and much cheaper than commonsense bulk bins. They also have a loyalty stamp card so you reduce your costs over time. Otherwise the bulk stores in Newtown are cheapest – Moshim’s is very affordable and they have had the best bulk bin range in Wellington for a very long time.

      Hope that helps!

  • Moshims has closed down! And Silk Route Spices has been closed for a while.

    Any ideas on where to get spices in Wellington South these days? All the other options listed here seem to do only packaged spices (Manga, Newtown Greengrocer).

    The Newtown Greengrocer is expanding its bulk bin range but at the moment don’t have a very good system for pre-weighing containers.

    • Kia ora Hannah – thanks for your comment. We have been trying to get the low-down on Moshim’s (not there at the mo) as when Liam was there the sign outside the shop said it was for temporary maintenance (ie it didnt seem to be a permanent shut down)… Do you have more deets on this?

      Thanks for the heads up on Silk Route Spices, will remove.

      Re spices in Welly South, hmm the closest places we know of that do at least some spices unpackaged are The Newtown Greengrocer (as you mentioned) – though last time we went in their bulk range seemed to be contracting, rather than expanding and lots of the spices previously in bulk weren’t in bulk anymore. From memory (at least, the last time we shopped there, which was over 2 years ago, Manga will fill your containers out back with stuff that is prepacked if you ask nicely – or at least, they did for Liam back in the day…). Commonsense Kilbirnie is the only CS doing spices in bulk. We drove past in a bus (so couldn’t stop to look and hence haven’t added it into guide yet) an Asian Grocery store in Lyall Bay that looked like it had bulk bins, so might have spices in bulk. Otherwise, you might have to trek into town and go to Hopper Home Eco Shop.

      Hope that helps!

  • Hi!

    Thank you so much for such a comprehensive list! It is incredible to have all of this information on one webpage rather than have 50 tabs open on my browser! I know you mentioned good places to get almond milk on tap, and was wondering if you knew any places that have soy milk! We use it a lot in cooking and also just prefer the taste 🙂
    Thank you!

    • Kia ora Rebecca, thanks for your kind words. We don’t know anywhere that does soy milk on tap in Welly, sadly. Nor do we know anywhere that sells unpackaged soy beans so that you can make your own. If you aren’t into almond milk, have you considered making any other plant-based milks yourself? It’s not as hard as you might think (we were stunned when we tried for the first time…) We have a list of recipes for those that we make ourselves that you can find here: http://therubbishtrip.co.nz/recipes-and-inventions/drinks/

  • Thank you for compiling such a detailed list. A few updates: The fish boat at Harbourside market on Sunday is very happy to fill your own containers. There is now a metal straw / produce bag / bamboo toothbrush stall at this market too. New World and PaknSav are now all supposed to be accepting your own containers for deli products etc. Countdown in Newtown has live mussels (but I failed to convince them to use my container….) Milk in glass bottles available at NW Chaffers and Morre Wilsons (Aunt Jeans from Nelson.) Thanks again, I have book marked your page.

    • Thanks for these updates Sylvia, we will add them to the guide. A quick note that we don’t list Aunt Jeans except in the parts of the country where they take those milk bottles back for sterilisation and reuse (in our view, one-way glass bottles is too energy and resource intensive to justify for milk, even if recycled) – there are a couple of other options for glass bottle refillable milk in Wellington now 🙂

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