This guide covers West Christchurch businesses only. For other parts of Christchurch or to read about city-wide council and community services, or city-wide shopping options, please refer to the Zero Waste in Christchurch City homepage.
NB: All our regional guides cover as many low-waste options as we could find for food, drink, kitchen and food packaging, cleaning products and bathroom products – scroll down to view each category.
FOOD OPTIONS (I.E. STORES THAT OFFER LOOSE ITEMS WHICH YOU CAN PUT, UNPACKAGED, INTO YOUR OWN BYO BAGS/CONTAINERS)
Lots of pantry staples – from flours, grains and rice, through to condiments, spices, legumes, nuts, seeds and liquid foods – usually come in single-use packets. Here, we list shops that stock all manner of pantry foods loose in bulk bins (or which at least have an option for you to avoid unnecessary packaging), so that you can put these ingredients straight into your own bags, jars, containers and bottles, and skip the packaging!
- Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton – this great wholefoods/organic shop has a good range of unpackaged/loose seeds, nuts, dried fruit, legumes, grains, flours and other pantry staples in bulk, as well as liquid refills of tamari, apple cider vinegar, and oil.
- Sun Mart, 221 Blenheim Rd, Riccarton – stocks unpackaged/loose peanuts, beans (including soy), rice, millet, cashews and shiitake mushrooms in bulk bins.
- China Town Market, 384 Riccarton Road, Upper Riccarton – sells dumplings wrapped in (banana?) leaves, and loose/unpackaged beans, peanuts, & several types of rice in bulk bins.
- Sunson Asian Market, 386 Riccarton Road, Upper Riccarton – sells loose/unpackaged peanuts, cashews, grains (rice, oats, pearl barley, millet, corn grits), beans (incl soy, kidney, adzuki, mung, chickpeas), wolf berries, and more in bulk bins.
- Basics, 8 Brake St, Upper Riccarton – has a nice range of loose/unpackaged peanuts, various beans (incl soy beans) and various rices in bulk bins.
- Spice Bazaar, 405 Main South Road, Hornby – sells unpackaged/loose nuts, seeds, dried fruit, legumes, spices, flours, sugar, coconut, rice and other grains in bulk bins.
- Supermarkets – all major supermarkets in Christchurch have well stocked bulk bin/pick and mix sections with wholefoods (BYO bags for these). However they’re pretty expensive, often more so than equivalent ingredients in packets (bah!), and more so than the bulk bins at places like Bin Inn or Piko Wholefoods.
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!
- Elite Meats, Bush Inn Shopping Centre, Corner of Waimari and Riccarton Roads, Upper Riccarton – BYO container to this butchery to get fresh cuts of meat without the disposable plastic.
- Meat at Millers, 205 Waimairi Road, Ilam – ask if you can BYO container to get fresh cuts of meat without the disposable plastic.
- Hei Hei Butchery, 36 Wycola Ave, Hei Hei – BYO container to this butchery to get fresh cuts of meat without the disposable plastic – they really encouraged it here!
- Theo’s Fisheries, 82 Riccarton Rd, Riccarton – BYO container for fresh seafood without the disposable plastic.
- PAK’nSAVE, The Hub, Hornby – this supermarket sells self serve seafood (live mussels, prawns, whole fish and heads, squid)
- 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 New World Ilam, 47C – 57C Peer St, Upper Riccarton/Ilam.
- Magnolia Electric, 355 Riccarton Road, Upper Riccarton – you can get Dutch cheese off the round and licorice unpackaged, just BYO containers and bags.
- Try your luck with BYO containers at the supermarket delis – Most supermarkets have a deli section offering meat, seafood, olives and other antipasti, salads, lunch foods and more – all unpackaged. Some supermarkets will allow you to BYO container for these goods, while others won’t. It can be hit and miss, often depending on the staff member you talk to.
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).
- La Wheat, Bush Inn Shopping Centre, Corner of Waimari and Riccarton Roads, Upper Riccarton – sells unpackaged bread and bakery goods, just BYO bag.
- Most supermarkets (and even some Four Squares) stock unpackaged bread, bread rolls and/or bakery goods in their bakery section – just pop them into your BYO bags!
Markets and other low-waste goodies you might not have thought of
- Keep an eye out for local markets where you can get unpackaged goods like fruit and veg, bread, cheese etc. into your own bags/containers, or where stallholders offer a return/swap system for their packaging. Check out the Zero Waste in Christchurch homepage for more info.
- Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags and are home compostable once they do fall apart. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid. You can get the sugar at New World Ilam, 47C – 57C Peer St, Upper Riccarton/Ilam and New World Wigram, 51 Skyhawk Road, Wigram.
- De Spa Chocolatier, 218 Riccarton Road, Riccarton – sells unpackaged truffles, fancy chocolates and chocolate buttons – BYO container!
- Pet Food – pets need to eat too! At Nick’s Pet Food, Michelle Road, Wigram you can get pet food put in your own containers. Easiest to drop your containers off earlier when placing your order and pick them up later (if a largish order).
- Coffee – wherever possible, we encourage people to find places that sell whole or ground coffee beans unpackaged and have them put in BYO bags/containers. In West Christchurch, you can get fresh coffee beans from Black & White Coffee Cartel, 2/20 Waimairi, Bush Inn, Upper Riccarton; one of the many Coffee Culture cafes at 10 Rotherham Street, Riccarton; and Bush Inn, 364 Riccarton Road, Upper Riccarton; and Crafted Coffee Company, 121 Blenheim Road, Riccarton (just go earlier in week before everything is packaged and sold).
- Milk – Unless Happy Cow Milk opens up again, your best bet will be milk powder from a bulk bin at one of the three Bin Inns in South Christchurch and East Christchurch, or the ingredients to make non-dairy milk from a bulk bin (i.e. oats, nuts, threaded coconut, rice).
- Drinking Chocolate – get raw organic cacao powder from the bulk bins at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.
- Beer – look out for places that sell beer on tap and BYO bottles/flagons to fill up. In the West, there are a number of breweries and vendors who sell craft beer on tap: Eagle Brewing (which sells its own beer), and Volstead Trading Company, both at 55 Riccarton Road, Riccarton; Harrington’s Breweries, 6 Tenahaun Pl, Wigram; Wigram Brewing Company, 57 Sonter Rd, Wigram; The Twisted Hop, 7 Parkhouse Rd, Wigram; Raindogs Brewing Co, 5 Edmonton Rd, Hornby; and Brewers Union, who sell local craft beers and can be found at most farmers’ markets in the region.
- Kombucha – MamaZing operates a bottle swap from Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton. Just return your empties (and get a deposit back for your efforts), which will then be washed, sterilized and reused – yay!
KITCHEN/FOOD PACKAGING ALTERNATIVES
Say “no more” to disposable takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles by getting yourself reusables instead! Get reusable water bottles at Living & Giving, Westfield Riccarton, 129 Riccarton Rd; Natural Attraction Hairstylist and Antiques, 184 Clarence Street, Windmill Centre, Riccarton.
There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in Wellington:
- Find the Keep Cup brand at Coffee Culture, 10 Rotherham Street, Riccarton; Bush Inn, 364 Riccarton Road, Upper Riccarton
- Get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at @cquisituons, Westfield Riccarton, 129 Riccarton Rd; Healthy Thymes, 106 The Runway, Wigram Skies; and Cafe 1894, The Undercroft, University of Canterbury, University Dr, Ilam (also gives a 50c discount if you BYO cup).
- Get the very leak proof Frank Green cups at Coffee Culture, 10 Rotherham Street, Riccarton; Bush Inn, 364 Riccarton Road, Upper Riccarton.
- The Joco brand at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton; Park Ranger, 114 Riccarton Rd, Riccarton;
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 Bento Ninja stainless steel lunchboxes at Natural Attraction Hairstylist and Antiques, 184 Clarence Street, Windmill Centre, Riccarton, and Meals in Steel stainless steel containers at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.
Reusable bags (shopping bags, produce bags and bulk bin bags)
Plastic shopping bags are a menace, but so too are those plastic produce bags for fruit and vege or the plastic bags often offered alongside bulk bins at bulk stores. You can avoid them by bringing your own bags or buying a set of reusable produce bags. You can get 100% organic cotton produce and/or bulk bin bags by either My Vita Bags or Rethink at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton; Healthy Thymes, 106 The Runway, Wigram Skies
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 Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.
Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil
- Beeswax wraps – available at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton
- Reusable sandwich bags – you can get Ginger Pye reusable sandwich wraps at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton
- 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 Living & Giving, Westfield Riccarton, 129 Riccarton Rd; and @cquisituons, Westfield Riccarton, 129 Riccarton Rd.
You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton. 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 Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton – 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:
- Get 100% cotton cloths that can be used as dishcloths at Red Current, Westfield Riccarton, 129 Riccarton Rd;
Refills of cleaning products
- Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton – stocks a wide range of both liquid and powdered eco cleaning products/ingredients you can fill your own bottles and containers with.
- Eco Planet and Next Generation laundry powder come in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining! You can get both from New World Ilam, 47C – 57C Peer St, Upper Riccarton/Ilam
- Soapnuts NZ soapnuts come in a cardboard box with no plastic lining. You can get them at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.
- Ethique laundry bars (which come in compostable cardboard packaging) are available at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.
- Alternatives to plastic clothes pegs – Natural Attraction Hairstylist and Antiques, 184 Clarence Street, Windmill Centre, Riccarton stocks Bento Ninja stainless steel clothes pegs. Get Go Bamboo pegs made from bamboo with a metal spring mechanism from Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.
Ingredients for DIY cleaning products
- Baking soda and white vinegar – you can get non-food grade baking soda and non-food grade white vinegar on tap/from a bulk bin into BYO containers/bottles at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.
- Bars of castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) – get Dr Bronner’s castile bars from Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton
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 Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton; Uni Pharmacy, The Undercroft, University of Canterbury University Dr, Ilam; New World Ilam, 47C – 57C Peer St, Upper Riccarton/Ilam; Homestead Health, Bush Inn Shopping Centre, Corner of Waimari and Riccarton Roads, Upper Riccarton; Unichem Pharmacy, 102 The Runway, Wigram Skies; Healthy Thymes, 106 The Runway, Wigram Skies; Stay Well Pharmacy, 27 Shands Road, Hornby; and Life Pharmacy, 418 Main South Road, Hornby.
- Dental Floss – most Countdown supermarkets 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 paper/cardboard packaging from www.do-gooder.co.nz – just pop the refill into your original metal/glass dispenser.
There are a couple of places in West Christchurch that sell unpackaged soap: @cquisituons, Westfield Riccarton, 129 Riccarton Rd; and Homestead Health at the Bush Inn Shopping Centre stocks a range of unpackaged soaps (including those made by Eco Store).
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):you can go straight to the source at Ethique’s Factory Shop, Unit 15/3 Stark Drive, Wigram. Other stockists in the area are Uni Pharmacy; Unichem Pharmacy, Wigram Skies; Wholefoods: Market and Health Store; and Sunson Asian Market, 386 Riccarton Road, Upper Riccarton.
Menstrual Cups – a zero waste, low cost alternative to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads. You can buy these at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store in Riccarton; the Uni Pharmacy and New World in Ilam; and Healthy Thymes and the Unichem Pharmacy in Wigram Skies.
- Wholefoods: Market and Health Store stock Go Bamboo cotton buds (which are home compostable).
- Ingredients for homemade cosmetics/toiletries
- Baking Soda is an essential ingredient in lots of homemade toiletries such as toothpaste and deodorant, as well as a great general cleaner when teamed up with vinegar. You can get it unpackaged in bulk bins (non-food grade) from Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.
- Epsom Salts – available in bulk bins at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.
- Liquid toiletries on tap – Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton stocks Ecostore liquid bathroom products on tap (just BYO bottles!)