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.
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 and flours 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 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 the chocolate and sugar at New World Ilam, 47C – 57C Peer St, Upper Riccarton/Ilam; just the sugar at New World Wigram, 51 Skyhawk Road, Wigram; or just the chocolate at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.
- Other pre-made food in home compostable packaging – Loving Earth chocolate comes in home compostable packaging and you can find it at New World Wigram, 51 Skyhawk Road, Wigram; and Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton. Ceres Organics raw goodness bars come in Econic home compostable packaging and you can purchase these at New World Ilam, 47C – 57C Peer St, Upper Riccarton/Ilam.
- 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). You can also get Trade Aid instant coffee (which comes in Econic home-compostable packaging) at New World Ilam, 47C – 57C Peer St, Upper Riccarton/Ilam, and Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.
- 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).
- 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
- Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton – sells My Vita Bags 100% organic cotton produce and bulk bin bags, Ginger Pye reusable sandwich wraps, Joco glass reusable takeaway coffee cups, reusable metal straws, Go Bamboo home-compostable veggie brushes, and wooden dishbrushes with replaceable, home compostable heads.
- Park Ranger, 114 Riccarton Rd, Riccarton – stocks Joco glass reusable takeaway coffee cups.
- Red Current, Westfield Riccarton, 129 Riccarton Rd – stocks cotton washcloths that could be used as dishcloths.
- @cquisituons, Westfield Riccarton, 129 Riccarton Rd – stocks reusable carry bags, Cuppa Coffee Cup (NZ-made reusable takeaway coffee cups) and silicone pot/bowl covers (an alternative to plastic cling wrap and tin foil).
- Living & Giving, Westfield Riccarton, 129 Riccarton Rd – stocks many different shapes and colours of silicone pot/bowl covers (an alternative to plastic cling wrap and tin foil), and reusable metal and glass water bottles.
- Coffee Culture, 10 Rotherham Street, Riccarton; Bush Inn, 364 Riccarton Road, Upper Riccarton – stock branded Keep Cup reusable takeaway coffee cups.
- Natural Attraction Hairstylist and Antiques, 184 Clarence Street, Windmill Centre, Riccarton – stocks Bento Ninja stainless steel lunchboxes and stainless steel pegs and reusable metal water bottles.
- Healthy Thymes, 106 The Runway, Wigram Skies – stocks My Vita Bags 100% organic cotton produce and bulk bin bags and Cuppa Coffee Cup (NZ-made reusable takeaway coffee cups).
- PAK’nSAVE, The Hub, Hornby – stocks Budget brand 100% cotton dishcloths.
- Cafe 1894, The Undercroft, University of Canterbury, University Dr, Ilam – stocks Cuppa Coffee Cup (NZ-made reusable takeaway coffee cups), and gives a 50c discount if you BYO cup.
- New World Ilam, 47C – 57C Peer St, Upper Riccarton/Ilam – stocks Eco Planet and Next Generation laundry powder (which comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining!)
- Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton – sells unpackaged/loose laundry powder, non-food grade baking soda and Epsom salts in bulk (if you’re keen on making your own cleaning products), Ethique laundry bars (which come in compostable cardboard packaging), bars of Dr. Bronner’s castille soap which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here), SoapNuts that come only in a cardboard box with no plastic inner lining, and Go Bamboo pegs made from bamboo with a metal spring mechanism.
- Bamboo Toothbrushes – these are a great alternative to plastic toothbrushes because they have wooden, home compostable handles (bristles are still plastic and need to be sent to landfill). You can get the Humble Brush brand at Wholefoods: Market and Health Store, 52 Riccarton Road, Riccarton; Uni Pharmacy, The Undercroft, University of Canterbury University Dr, Ilam; Homestead Health, Bush Inn Shopping Centre, Corner of Waimari and Riccarton Roads, Upper Riccarton; Unichem Pharmacy, 102 The Runway, Wigram Skies; Stay Well Pharmacy, 27 Shands Road, Hornby; and Life Pharmacy, 418 Main South Road, Hornby. The activated charcoal infused Grin toothbrushes are sold at Healthy Thymes, 106 The Runway, Wigram Skies. Go Bamboo toothbrushes can be found at New World Ilam, 47C – 57C Peer St, Upper Riccarton/Ilam; and Wholefoods: Market and Health Store (who also stocks Ecology toothbrushes).
- Unpackaged Soap – we believe soap doesn’t need packaging (it is made to clean, after all!). 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).
- Shampoo and Shaving Bars – there are a few places that stock Ethique‘s range of awesome bar alternatives to toiletries that would otherwise usually come in plastic and aluminium bottles – from shampoos and shaving soaps, through to body and facial cleansers and moisturisers, all packaged only in a home compostable cardboard box: 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.
- Other – Wholefoods: Market and Health Store stock Go Bamboo cotton buds (which are home compostable). You can get reusable metal razors with replacement blades at Shaver Shop, Westfield Riccarton, 129 Riccarton Rd. For some zero waste fragrances, try the unpackaged Scentchips from @cquisituons, Westfield Riccarton, 129 Riccarton Rd (just BYO container).