Zero Waste in Marlborough

Zero Waste in Marlborough



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!

  • Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, Blenheim – this place is AWESOME! Has a huge range of bulk bins stocking nuts, snacks, dried fruit, legumes, pasta, grains, flours, seeds, powders (incl cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda), cereal, chocolate chips + buttons, sweets, spices and pet food. It also has a peanut butter extruder (just BYO jar to fill up!) and a massive range of liquid bulk syrups, honeys, jams, molasses, sauces, oils, and vinegars.
  • Benge & Co Green Grocers/Guyton’s Seafood, 20 Grove Road, Blenheim – stocks local olive oil which you can refill in your own bottles.
  • BB Foods, 31 Scott Street, Blenheim – stocks a range of spices, nuts, legumes, grains, flours and sugar in bulk bins.
  • Mr. Asian, 3 Twelfth Lane, Blenheim – stocks various types of rice (including sushi rice) in bulk bins.
  • Anita’s Organic Store, 46B Wynen Street, Blenheim – Although the store has lots of bulk bins, everything inside them is repackaged. The repackaging used is either brown paper, which is home compostable, or cellophane. When we asked, staff were unable to confirm whether the cellophane used was 100% cellulose – and therefore home compostable – or if it had some petroleum in. If you shop here regularly, it could be worth conversing with Anita and staff about whether they would consider putting their bulk items into BYO bags/containers (rather than their own packaging), or start using the bulk bins again.
  • BV Gourmet, 2A Park Terrace, Blenheim – stocks loose dried chillis and chipotle unpackaged and you can refill BYO bottles with high-end extra virgin olive oil. At the deli, BYO containers for unpackaged olives, preserved lemons and other nice deli food.
  • J Bush & Sons Honey, 168 Old Renwick Road, Blenheim – get BYO jars filled with honey here for a very reasonable price.
  • Taylor Pass Honey Co, 12 Taylor Pass Road, Blenheim – five varieties of locally made honey on tap! You even save money if you BYO container.
  • Supermarkets (Fresh Choice, 100 High Street, Picton; New World, 4 Freswick Street, Blenheim; PAK’nSAVE Blenheim, Springlands, Blenheim; Countdown Blenheim, 51 Arthur Street, Blenheim) – these supermarkets have 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 Real Food Grocer and Sustainance. Fresh Choice in Picton and New World in Blenheim both stock loose, unpackaged salad leaves and/or greens that you can put straight into a BYO bag/container (the New World has quite a good range of unpackaged greens, including spinach, watercress, rocket, mesclun and lettuce).

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!

  • Benge & Co Green Grocers/Guyton’s Seafood, 20 Grove Road, Blenheim – Benge & Co/Guyton’s sells various seafood (incl. smoked mussels!) unpackaged at the deli, as well as items like olives, just byo containers.
  • Meaters of Marlborough, Corner of Litchfield Street and Maxwell Road, Blenheim – apart from their non-packaged meat which they’ll happily put into a BYO container, this store also sells local olive oil on tap for refilling your bottles (make sure you request, when handing the empty bottle over, that they don’t wrap the bottle up afterwards in brown paper, which they will otherwise do!)
  • Westmeat, Corner of Alabama and Main South Roads, Blenheim – although a lot of the meat is already packaged in plastic, the butchers are happy for customers to BYO container for what isn’t packaged.
  • Renwick Meat Market, 82 High Street, Renwick – get fresh cuts of meat into a BYO container at this butchery.
  • 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 Fresh Choice, 100 High Street, Picton and New World, 4 Freswick Street, Blenheim.
  • Supermarket delis – Most supermarkets have a deli section offering unpackaged meat, seafood, olives and other antipasti, salads, lunch foods and more. All Countdown supermarkets officially allow you to BYO container for these goods! Watch this space for New World and PAK’nSAVE to extend this practice to the South Island…

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).

  • Picton Village Bakkerij, 26 Auckland Street, Picton
  • BV Gourmet, 2A Park Terrace, Blenheim
  • Brumby’s Blenheim, 65 Queen St, Blenheim
  • You can also get unpackaged, locally-made bread at the Marlborough Farmers’ Market, 183 Maxwell Road, Blenheim
  • The following supermarkets stock unpackaged bread, bread rolls and/or bakery goods, just BYO bags: Fresh Choice, 100 High Street, Picton; New World Blenheim, 4 Freswick Street, Blenheim; PAK’nSAVE Blenheim, Springlands, Blenheim; and Countdown Blenheim, 51 Arthur Street, Blenheim.

  • Markets – No two ways about it, if you want a good source of unpackaged (often locally grown) produce, markets are the place to go! At most markets you can meet the grower/producer face-to-face, making them an ideal place to start fruitful conversations about waste-free food, and to develop relationships and systems that enable you to get your favourite fruit, vege and preserves without the packaging. You may also find local producers of pre-made foods like tofu, preserves and sauces 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. Check out the Marlborough Artisan Market, 32 Wynen Street, Blenheim.
  • Marlborough Food Network – an awesome, affordable, totally local fruit and veg box scheme run out of Joocy Loocy, 4 John Street, Blenheim. A standard box is $25 a week. Fruit and vege comes in a reusable crate and NO plastic packaging is used. There are some paper bags, but you can request that even these are left out, if you wish. This is a great, flexible, affordable fruit and veg box service that prioritises local produce and really cares about reducing waste – what more could you want?!
  • Fresh2U Organic Food Delivery – organic, locally-grown fruit + vege boxes with NO packaging delivered to your door, anywhere in Marlborough in an upcycled cardboard box! The odd item might occasionally come in plastic, if you don’t want this, simply say that you want a 100% plastic-free/packaging-free box when you set up your order and the business owner and packer, Lucy, will ensure no plastic gets in your box. If you’re looking for local, hassle-free organic produce that is zero waste, Fresh2U is absolutely one to check out!
  • Trade Aid – Trade Aid’s 1.5kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home compostable once 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. Get both these products at Trade Aid, 54 High Street, Picton, or just the sugar at New World, 4 Freswick Street, Blenheim.

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 unpackaged coffee in other stores (which usually have in-store grinders also). Here are the spots we found that offer these options:

  • Ritual, 10 Maxwell Road, Blenheim (fairtrade and organic) – sometimes the staff don’t know that it’s OK for them to fill BYO bags/containers with coffee beans or grinds from the cafe’s in-house roast out the back – just be friendly, the owners are definitely keen to support this!
  • CPR Coffee HQ, 18 Wynen Street, Blenheim
  • Fresh Choice, 100 High Street, Picton
  • New World, 4 Freswick Street, Blenheim. 

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:

Sourcing animal milk without the plastic bottles or vegan mylk without the dreaded Tetra-pak is no mean feat! We’ve found the following options:

  • Milk delivery in reusable glass bottles – Milk & More (the longest running milk run in the country) will deliver Oaklands Milk 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 Oaklands Milk for sterilisation and refill. YAY!
  • Return & Refill glass bottle scheme – Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, Blenheim stocks local goats milk in reusable glass bottles. How does the system work? The first time you buy a bottle of milk, you pay a little extra to cover the cost of the bottle and to ensure that you return it when you’re done. Return empty bottles to Real Food Grocer and exchange it for a full bottle for only the price of the milk (or else get your deposit back). The empties are then returned to the goat milk company for sterilisation and reuse – so the bottles just go around and around – true zero waste!
  • Milk powder in bulk bins – available at Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, and BB Foods, 31 Scott Street – BYO bags/containers.

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:

  • The Bottle-O Redwood, 66 Cleghorn Street (note minimum purchase is 2L)
  • Wino’s, 49 Grove Road, Blenheim.
  • FYI that although you can totally use any old upcycled bottle to get the beer in, if you want something fancier (albeit pricier too), Steven’s, 29-35 Alfred Street, Blenheim stocks 2l stainless steel reusable growlers (for getting beer on tap to takeaway).

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/Cocoa – you can find cocoa in bulk at Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, Blenheim.

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 Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton (metal); $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton (glass); Portal Jewellery & Design, Shop 1, 1 High Street, Picton (metal); Blue Penguin, 1A Nelson Street, Blenheim (metal); Steven’s, 29-35 Alfred Street, Blenheim (metal); Thomas’s, 54 Market Street, Blenheim (various kinds of metal/plastic bottles); Alyssums, 15 Queen Street, Blenheim (various kinds of metal/plastic bottles); Wairau Pharmacy, 47 Scott Street, Blenheim (metal).

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

  • Find the Keep Cup brand at BV Gourmet, 2A Park Terrace, Blenheim, Steven’s, 29-35 Alfred Street, Blenheim, CPR Coffee HQ, 18 Wynen Street, Blenheim (including Star Wars themed cups…)
  • Get the NZ-made Ideal Cup at Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton;
  • Get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at Portal Jewellery & Design, Shop 1, 1 High Street, Picton; Blue Penguin, 1A Nelson Street, Blenheim
  • The Joco brand at BV Gourmet, 2A Park Terrace, Blenheim
  • You can get ceramic or glass reusable takeaway coffee cups at $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton, and Cerise, 102 Market Street, Blenheim

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 Rethink 100% organic cotton produce bags at Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton, or super affordable 100% cotton produce bags at $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton. Benge & Co Green Grocers, 20 Grove Road, Blenheim – stocks reusable (though polyester) produce bags, while BV Gourmet, 2A Park Terrace, Blenheim stocks zuperzozial washable paper bags. If you’re after reusable shopping bags, at Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton you can get locally hand-crafted reusable shopping bags made from upcycled materials (yahoo!) by Plastic Bag Free Picton, or from the $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton you can get no-sew, upcycled t-shirt bags made from non-saleable t-shirts rescued from local op-shops, 100% cotton shopping bags, and also reusable wet bags!

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 $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton.

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

  • Beeswax wrap:
    • Purchase at – Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton; $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton; Cafe Cortado, 30 London Quay, Picton; The Honey Collection, 74 Grove Road, Mayfield, Blenheim; Ritual, 10 Maxwell Road, Blenheim; and Wairau Pharmacy, 47 Scott Street, Blenheim (the Munch brand).
    • DIY (waaaay 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, such as places like Sheets and Things, in the Warehouse parking lot outside Crossroads, Blenheim, or The Sewing Store, 29 High Street, Blenheim, where you can find offcuts of quilting fabric. Get unpackaged beeswax at Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, Blenheim, the Garden Bees‘ stall at the Marlborough Farmers’ Market, 24 Maxwell Road, Blenheim, or from J Bush & Sons Honey, 168 Old Renwick Road, Blenheim.
  • 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 $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton; BV Gourmet, 2A Park Terrace, Blenheim, Thomas’s, 54 Market Street, Blenheim, and Alyssums, 15 Queen Street, Blenheim.
  • Silicone freezer bags – reusable bags for freezing meat and other food are available at $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton

Refills of cleaning products

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

  • UH-OH! Not available in Marlborough (that we have seen).

Low-waste dishwashing

You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton, Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, Blenheim and Steven’s, 29-35 Alfred Street, Blenheim.

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 synthetic 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 Benge & Co Green Grocers, 20 Grove Road, Blenheim. You can also get an unbranded variety from $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton.
  • Get your hands on beautiful, locally knitted, 100% cotton face cloths that could easily be used as dishcloths from Marlborough Creative Artisans, 35 High Street, Picton.
  • You can get the fancy Bianca Lorenne cotton dishcloths at Cerise, 102 Market Street, Blenheim.
  • Alternatively, find 100% cotton cloths that can be used as dishcloths at Thomas’s, 54 Market Street, Blenheim and Poswillo’s Pharmacy, 32 Scott Street, Blenheim.
  • If you’re after a coarser scrubby, you can get the Safix 100% coconut fibre scouring pads from $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton.
  • Get a metal soap shaker to go with your bar of dishsoap from $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton – just like nana used to use!


  • Eco Planet laundry powder comesin a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining! You can get it at Fresh Choice, 100 High Street, Picton and PAK’nSAVE Blenheim, Springlands, Blenheim.
  • Non-plastic clothes pegs – get your hands on some bamboo clothes pegs or stainless steel pegs from $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton.
  • Stainless steel drying hanger for drying smalls at $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton.

Ingredients for DIY cleaning products

  • Baking soda – available unpackaged in bulk bins at Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, Blenheim.
  • White vinegar – available from bulk dispensers (BYO bottle!) at Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, Blenheim.
  • Bars of castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) – Anita’s Organic Store, 46B Wynen Street, Blenheim stocks bars of Dr Bronner’s castile soap.

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’ll find the Go Bamboo brand at Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, Blenheim, and Anita’s Organic Store, 46B Wynen Street, Blenheim. You can get the Humble Brush brand at Picton Healthcare Pharmacy, 6 High Street, Picton, and Wairau Pharmacy, 32 Scott Street, Blenheim; The Eco Brush toothbrushes at Fresh Choice, 100 High Street, Picton; The Toothbrush Project toothbrushes at Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton; or Become the Change bamboo handled toothbrushes from $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton.

Unpackaged Bars of Soap

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

  • Marlborough Creative Artisans, 35 High Street, Picton (locally-made)
  • Anita’s Organic Store, 46B Wynen Street, Blenheim (Ecostore)
  • Alyssums, 15 Queen Street, Blenheim – (unpackaged bars of soap of various shapes and sizes)
  • BV Gourmet, 2A Park Terrace, Blenheim – (unpackaged olive oil soap cubes)
  • Cerise, 102 Market Street, Blenheim – (fancy unpackaged soap bars)
  • Marlborough Artisan Market – stalls selling unpackaged bars of felted soap!

Bars for Shampoo/Shaving/Deodorant/Moisturiser (or sustainably packaged alternatives)

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! Or else, look out for brands that are packaged in refillable or home compostable packaging.

  • Look out for 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): Wairau Community Pharmacy, 32 Scott Street, Blenheim, Unichem Springlands Pharmacy, 131 Middle Renwick Road, Springlands, Blenheim, and Farmers, 39 Market Street, Blenheim. Picton Healthcare Pharmacy, 6 High Street, Picton also stocks a selection of the Ethique range (we saw body and face soap bars, but you could ask if they could also stock some of the other bars too, like the shampoo, shaving or deodorant bars).
  • Local Marlborough company Jeymar Soap & Body makes a variety of bars of soap for various purposes, including body/hand, shaving (+ shaving brush), facial and shampoo bars of soap, which you can buy from Marlborough Creative Artisans, 35 High Street, Picton.

Reusable Menstrual Products

These are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads. You can buy menstrual cups at Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton; Life Pharmacy, 101a Market Street, Blenheim. We have been told that you can also get reusable, washable pads from ThinkQI, 5 Bradleigh Park, Fairhall, Blenheim.


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 and replacement blades from The Barber Shop, 25 Grove Road, Redwoodtown, Blenheim.

Ingredients for DIY toiletries/cosmetics

  • Baking Soda  – an essential ingredient in lots of homemade toiletries such as toothpaste and deodorant. You can get it unpackaged in bulk from Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, Blenheim.
  • Unpackaged Beeswax – beeswax can be useful for making homemade cosmetics such as lip balm. Get it unpackaged from Real Food Grocer, 32 Maxwell Road, Blenheim; Garden Bees‘ stall at the Marlborough Farmers’ Market, 24 Maxwell Road, Blenheim; or J Bush & Sons Honey, 168 Old Renwick Road, Blenheim.


  • Cotton Buds – home compostable cotton buds made of bamboo are available at $3 and more store, 23 High Street, Picton and Anita’s Organic Store, 46B Wynen Street, Blenheim.
  • Toilet Paper –  Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton stocks rolls of Smart Ass toilet paper (that are individually wrapped in home compostable tissue paper), or Supervalue Renwick, 87 High Street, Renwick stocks Homebrand toilet rolls (individually wrapped in home compostable tissue paper).
  • Reusable incontinence underwear – avoid disposable liners and opt for absorbant, reusable underwear, which you can find at Life Pharmacy, 101a Market Street, Blenheim, Poswillos Pharmacy, 47 Scott Street, Blenheim, and Wairau Community Pharmacy, 32 Scott Street, Blenheim.

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, the Marlborough District Council has some great info and resources on their websites to help you set a system up.
    • Dropping off your food scraps somewhere – For the people of Picton – if you are struggling to set up your own system, you can bring your scraps to 58 Hampden Street, Picton – the owners will put it in their compost so long as the scraps have no animal products.
  • 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, or look out for Repair or Fix-it Cafes 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 – you might need to ask around to see if any group in Marlborough might feel up to running one!)
    • Recycle – If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to the E-Waste Collection Facility at the Wither Road Transfer Station in Blenheim to be recycled. There will be a fee (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.
  • Sheets ‘n’ Things, within The Warehouse parking lot, behind Crossroads, Blenheim – rather than biffing it out, you can donate your good quality second hand linen (such as blankets, quilts, sheets, towels, duvets, duvet inners, pillows, and drapes) to this Bread of Life project for on-sale. All money raised goes towards individuals in need in the Blenheim community. 10% of the proceeds are donated to another charity.

Zero Waste Information and Support Networks

  • Envirohub Marlborough, 14 Auckland Street, Picton – this environment centre is a new treasure for the Marlborough community, hosting events and providing advice on a wide range of sustainability issues, including waste issues. The centre also places a focus on involving children, young people and families, which is exciting to see. They also stock a variety of items that can help with low-waste living.
  • Plastic Bag Free Picton – run by the inimitable anti-plastic stalwart Linda Thompson, Plastic Bag Free Picton campaigns for what it says on the tin, but also produces reusable alternatives to plastic bags which you can get your mitts on around town! The campaign’s FB page is also a great source of tips for waste reduction, both generally and locally.
  • Boomerang Bags Marlborough – Boomerang Bags has made its way to Marlborough. This growing movement is a great way of reducing plastic bags around town. Boomerang Bags groups get together to sew reusable bags out of upcycled fabrics, and then leave these at common shopping areas for shoppers to use if they forget their own reusables. The Marlborough team are on the lookout for volunteers to help make the bags. If you would like to help, send an email to or

Sharing, Skills and Resourcefulness in Communities

  • 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.
  • Menzshed – there are Menzsheds throughout Marlborough. 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), and also creating bespoke items for community and charitable purposes. Definitely look up your local!

1 thought on “Zero Waste in Marlborough”

  • Hannah Blumhardt and Liam Prince were in town as part of their year-long journey around New Zealand, sharing the ‘why’ behind their decision to live without a rubbish bin, and tips and tricks to help us all explore what our next steps might be in reducing the waste in our schools, kindergartens, homes and lives.  It was a cracking start to our Enviroschools Marlborough theme for 2018: EXPLORE!

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