Zero Waste in Queenstown & Arrowtown

Zero Waste in Queenstown & Arrowtown

This guide covers Queenstown & Arrowtown only. For other parts of Queenstown-Lakes District, please refer to the Zero Waste in Queenstown-Lakes District 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!

  • The Honest Wholefood Co. – a Wanaka-based zero waste food delivery business! The Honest Wholefood Co stocks a very wide range of both dried and liquid wholefoods/pantry staples (check their website to see the full range) which they’ll send to you in your own bags or containers! For those in Queenstown and Arrowtown, The Honest Wholefood Co. can send you your first order in brown paper bags that you then decant into your own containers at home, and then return the bags to the company in a pre-paid paper envelope for refilling for your next order OR you can send them your own cloth bags in the envelope that they’ll fill up next time for your order. Aside from bringing you packaging-free food, The Honest Wholefood Co is also doing a lot of work behind the scenes to reduce the store’s own waste up the supply chain.
  • Soul Food Organic Queenstown, Shop B/05, 19 Grant Road, Frankton, Queenstown – the much-loved Wanaka organics store has expanded to Queenstown and have an ever-expanding range of bulk bins for their organic bulk dried foods (from herbs and spices through to pulses, flours, grains and more) – drop in with your BYO bags and jars and check it out!
  • Queenstown Organics Wholefoods (formerly Oamaru Organics)9 McBride Street, Frankton, Queenstown – stocks unpackaged organic produce, a range of unpackaged dried goods (nuts, seeds, flours, rice, dried fruit, legumes) in bulk bins, and local olive oil on tap in bulk dispensers – BYO bags, containers and bottles!
  • Buzzstop Honey Centre, 26 Hansen Road, Frankton (open Saturdays) – stocks honey on tap in bulk dispensers, and even offers discounts if you BYO jars/containers
  • Fine Food Brokers, Unit 1, 9 Industrial Place – at the moment, nothing in this store is available unpackaged. However, the store buys in wholefoods in bulk (it just repacks them into plastic bags for sale in its retail shop). It’s quite a big space so there’s heaps of scope for them to put in bulk bins or just big jars to dispense from instead. As the store is a bit out of town, it’s less likely to have the kinds of people looking for ‘convenience’ food (such as tourists), and more likely to attract the kinds of customers who’d be keen to shop from bulk bins. We encourage people in Queenstown to keep asking this business to offer their bulk wholefoods unpackaged – the more people who ask, the more likely you’ll see change.
  • Supermarkets (Pak’N Save Queenstown, 302 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; FreshChoice Queenstown, 64 Gorge Road, Queenstown; New World Wakatipu, 1/12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton, Queenstown) – these three 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!). Your best bet is to check out the extensive Pak’NSave Queenstown bulk bin/pick and mix aisle because some of their stock IS reasonably priced – especially look out for what’s on special in this aisle because sometimes the prices for individual ingredients can get pretty cheap!


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!

  • Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road – this store has a range of unpackaged meats and other deli food at the deli which they are happy to put straight into your own container. 
  • Neat Meat, 5/3 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton, Queenstown – lots of unpackaged meat, sausages etc. which the storekeepers are happy to put straight into BYO containers. Also loose/unpackaged spices are available behind the counter with a meat purchase (just BYO jars/bags to have the spices put into).
  • Harbour Fish, 9 McBride Street, Frankton, Queenstown – BYO container for all unpackaged seafood, plus they’re phasing out plastic wrap!
  • Unpackaged live mussels/shellfish – there are a few stores around town that stock unpackaged live mussels, which we put straight into upcycled ice cream containers/BYO container rather than the plastic bags the store provides. You can find unpackaged live mussels at FreshChoice Queenstown, 64 Gorge Road, Queenstown; Countdown Frankton, 30 Grant Road, Frankton; New World Wakatipu, 1/12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton, Queenstown, Pak’N Save Queenstown, 302 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton. You can get a range of of unpackaged shellfish at Harbour Fish, 9 McBride Street, Frankton, Queenstown.
  • 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, and so do FreshChoice supermarkets. Watch this space for when New World and PAK’nSAVE 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).

  • Fergbaker40 Shotover Street, Queenstown – bakes and sells heaps of unpackaged bread (including Sourdough) and lots of unpackaged bakery goods (just BYO bags/containers)
  • Ma Boulangerie, 12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton, Queenstown – bakes and sells unpackaged bread and bakery goods (just BYO bags).
  • Brumby’s Bakery, B04/19 Grant Rd, Frankton
  • Arrowtown Bakery & Cafe, 1 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown – sells unpackaged cheap bread (BYO bags).
  • Provisions of Arrowtown, 65 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown – bakes and sells unpackaged bread.
  • The following supermarkets stock unpackaged bread and/or bakery goods, just BYO bags: Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road, Queenstown; New World Wakatipu, 1/12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; Pak’N Save Queenstown, 302 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton


  • 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. At markets 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. Often the answer is yes! Check out the Arrowtown Farmers’ Market, the Remarkables Market and the Queenstown Arts and Crafts Market. Aside from great stalls and local wares, the Remarkables Market also runs a cup library system so that people who attend the market, forget their reusable coffee cup, but want a coffee as they walk around, can simply borrow one of the mugs provided on cup stands all around the market (to seal the deal, whoever uses one of these mugs gets 50c off their hot drink – whoop!). For other markets further afield, you can also head over to the Cromwell Farmers’ and Craft Market.
  • Organic Co-op ZQN – This is an organic co-op, which anyone in Queenstown could join. The group bulk buys wholefoods from organics suppliers such as Ceres. At the moment the co-op is not quite big enough to be buying in the really large bags of food (which tend to be more sustainably packaged than the smaller 3kg bulk bags that the group currently purchases). However, the more people that join the co-op, the more this larger bulk buying could be possible (and then people could just put smaller quantities taken out of the big bulk bag into their own bags/containers). So, definitely check this co-op out, if you haven’t already, to see if you can help push the numbers up!
  • Trade Aid products – 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. You can find both these products at Orphans Aid International, 1092 Frankton Road, Frankton. You can also find Trade Aid’s 1.5kg bags of sugar at New World Wakatipu; and FreshChoice Queenstown, 64 Gorge Road.
  • Unpackaged sweets and treats:
    • Patagonia Chocolates,  50 Lakefront, Beach Street, Queenstown – plenty of (fancy) chocolate treats unpackaged, just BYO container to have them put into.
    • Night ‘n Day, 48 Shotover Street; and corner of Church and and Camp Streets, Queenstown – stocks loose/unpackaged sweets, chocolate and fudge, and unpackaged rolls, buns and croissants (just BYO bags/containers).
    • The Remarkable Sweet Shop, 39 Beach Street, Queenstown and 27 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown – sells some unpackaged sweets, truffles and fudge (you’ll need to ask whether BYO bags/containers are OK).
  • Pet food! Provisions of Arrowtown, 65 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown sells some unpackaged dog treats (BYO bags/containers).


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:

  • Octane Coffee (locally roaster really passionate about waste minimisations) – TWO options: at The Coffee Hatch, corner Camp and Shotover Streets, Queenstown (which has grinder out back) AND Arrowtown Bakery & Cafe, 1 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown. Just go to these stores with your own bag/container and get the beans/grinds put straight in. 
  • Bean Around the World, 11 Athol Street, Queenstown
  • Black & White Coffee Cartel, B06 Queenstown Central, 19 Grant Road, Frankton.


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:

  • Soul Food Organic Queenstown, Shop B/05, 19 Grant Road, Frankton
  • Bell’s Loose Leaf tea, which is available in most supermarkets, dairies and Four Squares comes in a cardboard box with an inner paper lining – so totally plastic-free.


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:

  • Milk delivery in reusable glass bottlesGo 2 Raw Milk delivers raw 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 Go 2 Raw Milk for sterilisation and refill. YAY!
  • Return & Refill glass bottle scheme – TWO options for milk in reusable glass bottles! Either The Natural Dairy at Queenstown Organics Wholefoods, 9 McBride Street, Frankton; or Windy Ridge Farm milk at FreshChoice Queenstown, 64 Gorge Road, Queenstown; Night ‘n Day Shotover, 48 Shotover Street, Queenstown; Night ‘n Day Church Street, corner Church and Camp Streets, Queenstown; and Night ‘n Day Arrowtown, 39 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown.
    • How do the systems 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 any stockist of the milk, 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 Natural Dairy or Windy Ridge Farm for sterilisation and reuse – so the bottles just go around and around – true zero waste!


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).


  • Ginger beer on tap – available at Henry’s Wakatipu, 314 Hawthorne Drive, Queenstown – BYO bottle!


Reusable drinking vessels (cups and water bottles)

Say “no more” to disposable takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles by getting yourself reusables instead!

  • Glass cups like Joco, Keep Cup and Think Cup are available at Life’s a Grind, 52 Stanley Street, Queenstown; Mackenzie Coffee Co, Cow Lane, Queenstown; Vudu Cafe & Larder, 16 Rees Street, Queenstown; Bean Around the World, 11 Athol Street, Queenstown; Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road, Queenstown; Patagonia Chocolates, 50 Lakefront, Beach Street, Queenstown; Brumby’s Bakery, B04/19 Grant Rd, Frankton; Ma Boulangerie, 12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton; Sherwood Hotel Trading Post, 554 Frankton Road, Queenstown; Provisions of Arrowtown, 65 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown; and Unwind Cafe & Bar, 4/14 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown.
  • Get the very leak proof Frank Green cups at Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton
  • Ceramic cups by Pottery for the Planet or Queenstown local potter Bea Bellingham are available at Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road, Queenstown; Frank’s Corner, 58 Camp Street, Queenstown; Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Road, Frankton; 
  • Cuppa Coffee Cup brand at Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton; Gibbston Valley Gift Shop, 1820 Gibbston Highway; and Mrs. Woolly’s General Store, 64 Oban Street, Glenorchy.
  • Stainless steel reusable cups are available at Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road, Queenstown; Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Road, Frankton; and Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton.

Get reusable metal water bottles at Vudu Cafe, 16 Rees Street, Queenstown; Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road; Countdown Frankton, 30 Grant Road, Frankton; Queenstown Natural Health, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton; Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Road, Frankton; Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton; Gibbston Valley Gift Shop, 1820 Gibbston Highway; and Mrs. Woolly’s General Store, 64 Oban Street, Glenorchy.

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. Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road, Queenstown; and Sherwood Hotel Trading Post, 554 Frankton Road, Queenstown stock Meals in Steel stainless steel lunchboxes.

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 get yourself 100% cotton produce and/or bulk bin bags at Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road, Queenstown; FreshChoice Queenstown, 64 Gorge Road, Queenstown; The Outpost, 3 Beach St, Queenstown; Soul Food Organic Queenstown, Shop B/05, 19 Grant Road, Frankton; Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Road, Frankton; and Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton.

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 straw, you can get them from The Outpost, 3 Beach Street, Queenstown (metal); Alpine Four Square, corner of Stanley & Shotover Streets, Queenstown (metal); Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road, Queenstown (metal); Countdown Frankton, 30 Grant Road, Frankton (metal, bamboo & silicone); Queenstown Natural Health, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton (metal); Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Road, Frankton (bamboo & metal); Soul Food Organic Queenstown, Shop B/05, 19 Grant Road, Frankton (metal); Sherwood Hotel Trading Post, 554 Frankton Road, Queenstown; and Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton (glass, metal & silicone).

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

  • Beeswax wrap 
    • Purchase at Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road, Queenstown; The Outpost, 3 Beach St, Queenstown (incl. vegan wraps); Life Pharmacy Wilkinson’s, corner Ballarat and Rees Street, Queenstown; Vesta Design, 19 Marine Parade, Queenstown; Sherwood Hotel Trading Post, 554 Frankton Road, Queenstown; Off The Wall Gallery and Store, 18 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown; Soul Food Organic Queenstown, Shop B/05, 19 Grant Road, Frankton; Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Road, Frankton; Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton; Gibbston Valley Cheese, 1820 Gibbston Highway; and Mrs. Woolly’s General Store, 64 Oban Street, Glenorchy.
    • DIY (waaay cheaper!) – you just need natural fibre fabric (cotton) and unpackaged beeswax. The Stitching Post, 25 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown is a great spot to get offcuts/discounted cotton fabric with pretty patterns. You can get unpackaged beeswax at Queenstown Organics Wholefoods, 9 McBride Street, Frankton; and Gibbston Valley Cheese, 1820 Gibbston Highway.
  • Reusable sandwich bags – LilyBee Wrap beeswax wrap sandwich pouches available at Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Road, Frankton.
  • Silicone pot/bowl covers – these covers form a vacuum seal over whatever pot/bowl/tray they’re placed over and they can withstand heat up to 220 degrees. So they’re 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. Find stretchy ones at Queenstown Organics Wholefoods, 9 McBride Street, Frankton; and firm ones at Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton.
  • Reusable freezer bags – reusable silicone bags for freezing meat and other food are available at Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Road, Frankton; and Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton


Refills of cleaning products

The following stores stock liquid and/or powdered cleaning products in bulk dispensers – BYO bottles/containers!

  • Clean Conscience – get your hands on locally-made cleaning products into your own bottles/jars (or bulk ingredients for cleaning products) from local Sacha Marie Wilkins of Clean Conscience. There’ll be a Shopify up soon, but in the meantime just send Sacha a message through the FB page to see how you can get the goods into your own bags and containers 😀

Low-waste dishwashing

You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road, Queenstown

Alternatively, you can find Go Bamboo veggie brushes (which can also be used as a dishbrush, and is home compostable) at Pak’N Save Queenstown, 302 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; Queenstown Organics Wholefoods, 9 McBride Street, Frankton; and Soul Food Organic Queenstown, Shop B/05, 19 Grant Road, Frankton.

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 locally knitted natural fibre dishcloths from Mud and Cloth (who have a stall at the Remarkables Market, but you can also get your hands on these cool knits through the peeps at Sustainable Queenstown).
  • Jangneus/Swedish Kitchen Culture or Toodles Noodles 100% cotton/cellulose dishcloths that are home compostable when they do fall apart, are available at Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton; and Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Road, Frankton.
  • Various 100% cotton cloths are sold at Queenstown Interiors, 5 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; and Mooch, 19 Grant Road, Frankton.
  • If you’d like to try knitting/crocheting your own dishcloths (a great way to learn!), you can get organic cotton yarn at The Stitching Post, 25 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown.

Laundry

  • Eco Planet and Earthwise 1kg laundry powder both come in a cardboard box with no inner plastic lining, and Eco Planet’s scoop is made of cardboard while Earthwise has no scoop at all. Find both at FreshChoice Queenstown, 64 Gorge Road; and New World Wakatipu, 1/12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; or just Earthwise at Alpine Four Square, corner of Stanley & Shotover Streets, Queenstown; and Countdown Frankton, 30 Grant Road, Frankton.
  • You can also get Living Green laundry powder, which is the same deal (no plastic, septic tank safe) with a bamboo scoop, from any Countdown supermarket.
  • Non-plastic clothes pegs – bamboo pegs made from bamboo with a metal spring mechanism are available at Queenstown Organics Wholefoods, 9 McBride Street, Frankton; Soul Food Organic Queenstown, Shop B/05, 19 Grant Road, Frankton; FreshChoice Queenstown, 64 Gorge Road, New World Wakatipu, 1/12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; and Sherwood Hotel Trading Post, 554 Frankton Road, Queenstown. Or else stainless steel pegs are sold at Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Road, Frankton; and The Warehouse, 24 Grant Road, Frankton.
  • Soapnuts – a berry/nut that contains saponin and can be used to clean laundry. Once spent, they can be home composted. Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Rd, Frankton stocks That Red House Organic Soapberries that come only in a cloth and brown paper bag (no plastic); and the SoapNuts NZ brand that come only in a cardboard box with no inner plastic lining.

Ingredients for DIY cleaning products

  • Bars of castile soap can be used as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here). Queenstown Natural Health, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton stocks bars of Dr Bronner’s castile soap.
  • Didn’t see any stockists of baking soda or white vinegar in bulk bins or dispensers – oh no! Zero waste necessity!


Zero Waste Teeth and Mouth

  • Bamboo toothbrushes – a great alternative to plastic toothbrushes because they have wooden, home compostable handles (bristles are still plastic and need to be removed from the handle and put in your rubbish bin). Find at Alpine Four Square, corner of Stanley & Shotover Streets, Queenstown; Life Pharmacy Wilkinson’s, corner Ballarat and Rees Street, Queenstown; Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road, Queenstown; FreshChoice Queenstown, 64 Gorge Road, Queenstown; Sherwood Hotel Trading Post, 554 Frankton Road, Queenstown; Queenstown Organics Wholefoods, 9 McBride Street, Frankton; Countdown Frankton, 30 Grant Road, Frankton; Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Rd, Frankton; New World Wakatipu, 1/12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; Pak’N Save Queenstown, 302 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; Queenstown Natural Health, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton; Unichem Summerfield’s Pharmacy, 2/1091 Frankton Road, Frankton; Soul Food Organic Queenstown, Shop B/05, 19 Grant Road, Frankton; Five Mile Pharmacy, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton; Unichem Remarkables Pharmacy, 53/12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton, Blue Moon Rummage, The Arcade, Buckingham Street, Arrowtown and Unichem Arrowtown Pharmacy, 20 Buckingham Street.
  • Dental Floss 
    • Countdown Frankton, 30 Grant Road, Frankton stocks 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 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 direct from Do Gooder
    • Queenstown Natural Health, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton; and Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Rd, Frankton also stocks The Eco Floss in a glass dispenser (Queenstown Natural Health also stocks refills). The floss is PLA, which is theoretically compostable. Sometimes PLA can be hard to break down in a home compost, but in floss form it may OK.

Unpackaged bars of Soap 

Find at Sherwood Hotel Trading Post, 554 Frankton Road, Queenstown; Soul Food Organic Queenstown, Shop B/05, 19 Grant Road, Frankton; and the Gibbston Valley Gift Shop, 1820 Gibbston Highway. 

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!

  • You can get the popular Ethique range of toiletries bars from Life Pharmacy Wilkinson’s, corner Ballarat and Rees Street, Queenstown; Five Mile Pharmacy, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton; Unichem Remarkables Pharmacy, 53/12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton and Unichem Summerfield’s Pharmacy, 2/1091 Frankton Road, Frankton (all of Ethique‘s bars come in home compostable packaging and they make a huge range of bars, from shampoo and conditioner, through to deodorant and shaving bars – yay!). 
  • Queenstown Soap Co shampoo bars are sold at Frank’s Corner, 58 Camp Street, Queenstown; Unichem Summerfield’s Pharmacy, 2/1091 Frankton Road, Frankton.
  • Dirty Hippie bars are sold at The Outpost, 3 Beach Street, Queenstown (shampoo); and Queenstown Natural Health, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton (full range, including shampoo, conditioner, shaving soap, and face scrub).
  • Wanaka-made Bare Naked Soap shampoo and other soap bars are available at Frank’s Corner, 58 Camp Street, Queenstown
  • Get Ahhh… shampoo bars at Pak’N Save Queenstown, 302 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton 
  • Hawkes Bay-made Dream Eco shampoo and moisturising bars, packaged in beeswax wraps, are sold at Unichem Summerfield’s Pharmacy, 2/1091 Frankton Road, Frankton; and Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Rd, Frankton.
  • Nelson-made Global Soap 3-in-1 shower/shave/shampoo bars are available at the Gibbston Valley Gift Shop, 1820 Gibbston Highway.
  • Fair + Square facial cleansing and body wash soap bars are stocked at Soul Food Organic Queenstown, Shop B/05, 19 Grant Road, Frankton, Queenstown; and Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Rd, Frankton
  • Takaka-made Clean Earth shampoo bars are also sold at Soul Food.
  • You can get deodorant, lip balm, dry shampoo, moisturiser, sunscreen and more, in home compostable cardboard tubes, from brands like Nature BodyAotearoadEverKind and Dirty Hippie. Available at Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Rd, Frankton; Unichem Summerfield’s Pharmacy, 2/1091 Frankton Road, Frankton; and Queenstown Natural Health, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton.

Reusable Menstrual Products

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

  • You can buy menstrual cups at FreshChoice Queenstown, 64 Gorge Road, Queenstown; QT Pharmacy, O’Connells Shopping Centre, 30 Camp Street, Queenstown; Life Pharmacy Wilkinson’s, corner Ballarat and Rees Street, Queenstown; Unichem Summerfield’s Pharmacy, 2/1091 Frankton Road, Frankton; Countdown Frankton, 30 Grant Road, Frankton; Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Rd, Frankton; Unichem Remarkables Pharmacy, 53/12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; Health 2000, Remarkables Park Shopping Centre, Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; Five Mile Pharmacy, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton; Queenstown Natural Health, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton; and Unichem Arrowtown Pharmacy, 20 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown.
  • Get washable period underwear (by ModiBodi) at Queenstown Natural Health, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32 Grant Road, Frankton.

Shaving

Avoid plastic shavers that are designed to be disposable and go for 100% stainless steel 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 (you can get the Ethique, Dirty Hippie, or Global Soap shaving bars in Queenstown (see above)). Finally, you’ll need a shaving brush to use with the shaving soap bar. You can buy safety razors from Sherwood Hotel Trading Post, 554 Frankton Road, Queenstown, and get your shaving brushes from The Outpost, 3 Beach St, Queenstown; and Unichem Summerfield’s Pharmacy, 2/1091 Frankton Road, Frankton. 

Other

  • Toilet Paper – there are two brands we know of that package their toilet paper in home-compostable packaging – Smart Ass and Greencane. You can buy Greencane from Soul Food Organic Queenstown, Shop B/05, 19 Grant Road, Frankton. Otherwise, both Smart Ass and Greencane toilet paper can be ordered online for delivery.
  • Cotton buds – find bamboo home compostable cotton buds at Raeward Fresh Queenstown, 53 Robins Road; Alpine Four Square, corner of Stanley & Shotover Streets, Queenstown; Queenstown Organics Wholefoods, 9 McBride Street, Frankton; Unichem Summerfield’s Pharmacy, 2/1091 Frankton Road, Frankton; Brandland, Five Mile Retail Centre, 32/1 Grant Rd, Frankton; New World Wakatipu, 1/12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton; and Pak’N Save Queenstown, 302 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton.


Reuse, Repair, Recycle

  • Food Waste – 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, you could go to a workshop run by the legendary Dr Compost who runs semi-regular workshops throughout Queenstown-Lakes District. Or, you might want to purchase a worm farm or bokashi bin – you can get subsidised bokashi bins from Queenstown-Lakes District Council offices (discount subsidised by Queenstown-Lakes District Council), or a subsidised batch of worms from Central Wormworx, Cromwell.
    • If you are a Queenstown-based business chucking out food that is still edible but not saleable, you can get in touch with Sustainable Queenstown who are running the Queenstown branch of KiwiHarvest – an excellent initiative that takes from businesses edible food that would otherwise go to waste, and redistributes it to people who need it.
    • Somewhere to drop off food scraps – If you’re based near Glenorchy and would just like somewhere to drop your food scraps off to, did you know that you can do this outside Mrs Woolly’s General Store, 64 Oban Street, Glenorchy? Local restaurants and hospitality outlets can get in touch with James of Organic Solutions who collects food scraps from various restaurants around Queenstown for worm farming. 
    • Greenwaste – Don’t forget about greenwaste too, which also doesn’t belong in landfill. You can drop greenwaste off for a small fee, to be mulched rather than landfilled, at the Frankton Transfer Station, Glenda Drive, Frankton Industrial Estate. There are also community-run green waste facilities in Glenorchy, Kingston, Lake Hawea, Luggate and Makarora.
  • E-waste – electronic waste is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, with huge environmental implications because of the toxins this waste leaches, 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 your 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 – perhaps ask if a centre near you might be interested in running a session).
    • Recycle – If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to Wanaka Wastebusters, corner Riverbank and Ballentyne Road, Wanaka, for recycling and safe disposal (a small fee will be payable for the processing of the electronics for recycling).
  • Stitch n Time Queenstown, 18 The Mall, Queenstown – got broken clothing or clothing that no longer fits as well as before? Get it repaired or altered with Stitch n Time rather than chucking it out! You can also sign up to volunteer to make Boomerang Bags here too! Even better, not only can you get your clothes and shoes repaired here instead of throwing them out, but the shop itself does what it can to reduce its own rubbish; they’re 100% plastic bag free, and every scrap of fabric that would normally be thrown into landfill is stuffed into the house-made “poofs” (or footstools, whatever you want to call them!) These are available for sale at Stitch N Time, just make an offer 😀

Zero Waste Information and Support Networks

  • Boomerang Bags Queenstown – Boomerang Bags is an excellent initiative spreading across the country that equips people to avoid plastic shopping bags by making cloth bags available on stands inside and outside local stores and supermarkets. Look out for the beautiful Queenstown Boomerang Bags on stands around both Queenstown and Arrowtown. These bags are sewn by local volunteers out of upcycled fabric at regular sewing bees. If you’re interested in sewing bags then check out the the Boomerang Bags Queenstown Public Facebook Group where you can find times and dates for the sewing bees. Even if you don’t know how to sew (yet) there are things you can do, and it’s probably a great way to learn! We believe sewing is an essential resilience skill for low-waste living, so what better way to start learning than through helping to reduce plastic bag consumption and divert textile waste?!
  • Sustainable Queenstown – a wonderful community initiative driven to boost sustainability in Queenstown. A large focus of Sustainable Queenstown’s work is to reduce waste in the city. Among their projects, they’ve recently launched Dishrupt, which is all about getting reusable plates at festivals and events to reduce the use of disposable takeaway containers. If you’re interested in volunteering to help make it happen, then all you need to do is get in touch with Sustainable Queenstown!

Share & Exchange, Skills & Resourcefulness

  • Toy Libraries – reduce the wasteful over-consumption of toys and save money by joining a toy library! Check out this list of toy libraries in Central Otago-Southern Lakes to find the nearest one to you!
  • Menzshed – 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 create bespoke items for community and charitable purposes. Definitely look up your local – there’s a Menzshed group in Arrowtown.
  • Community gardens – 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. In Queesntown there is a very large community garden, Harvest Gardens Queenstown, that runs an allotment system (you get to set up your own garden in a piece of the community garden space) or there are also communal gardening spaces – note, you do need to be involved if you want to take any food from these gardens. 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 the community garden.



7 thoughts on “Zero Waste in Queenstown & Arrowtown”

  • This is an amazing roundup. So thoughtful and thorough. Thanks for gathering all this info and sharing it!

  • A note for an update – you can also refill beer bottles at Canyon Food and Brew Co in Arthur’s Point. And yes, I am still patiently waiting for a bulk bin supplier here. Not driving all the way to Alexandra! Thanks for a great website btw. Olivia

    • Thanks Olivia! Will add that to the guide 😀 Also, you may know, but Soul Food in both Queenstown & Wanaka is installing bulk bins as we speak… Not sure when they are official, they may be already!

  • I always go back to this and find it so useful. Another beer addition is Altitude Brewing who sell beer to takeaway in a glass growler from their brewery on Frankton Road and you can then bring the growler back (clean) anytime you want to buy another batch. They also developed compostable ring pulls for their 6-pavks of beer cans which you can buy at Fresh Choice.
    Also, Atlas Beer Cafe sell beer to go which you can byo glass growler for (and they sell them there!)

    • Thank you Bec!! Really appreciate the help keeping the guide up to date and glad you find it useful 🙂

  • Hey team,

    You can now also get “Ahhh….It’s all good” shampoo and conditioner bars at Pak n Save in Frankton and stainless steel pegs from The Warehouse.

    RefillNZ (https://refillnz.org.nz/) is a good site to find facilities for refilling water bottles when out and about. All QLDC fountains are loaded onto the platform and Sustainable Queenstown has received some funding to get more businesses signed up to the scheme.

    Thanks for all your great mahi.

    Kath

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