Day 9 : Avoid unnecessary packaging


How can you avoid packaging ?

With the recent ban on plastic bags, one might think that by eliminating plastic bags from their daily habits they are doing their bit to save the planet. Everything you can do to reduce waste is good, but a quick look in your shopping bag after a trip to the supermarket will show you that plastic bags are just a small part of the plastic packaging problem.

Even if some packaging is recyclable, it takes energy and materials to make it and also to recycle it. The best thing to do is to avoid packaging in the first place. Here is some more info on what you can and cannot recycle for Auckland and Wellington. Let us know if you live somewhere else and we’d be happy to help you source the right info !

Tips to avoid packaging

  • Buy from the farmers’ market : fresh and unpackaged food ! And food is local, with no middleman, so you will probably pay less for your produce.

  • Buy concentrates for your cleaning products, as a large proportion of the liquid cleaners is water, which you can add yourself !

  • Buy in bulk and bring your own reusable bags/jars (examples of refilleries : GoodFor, ecostore refill stations, Be Free Grocer, Hopper Home Eco). One large package will use less energy and materials to make than many smaller ones.

  • Avoid products with unnecessary secondary packaging (e.g. wrapped veggies or fruits)

  • Eat less meat and dairy. And when buying meat, try to find a butcher that sells organic and won’t package it in polystyrene trays (not recyclable), but will give it to you in your own container. If you and others don’t buy it, suppliers won’t be able to keep making it. Vote with your wallet !

  • Ask if you could please have it without the straw, napkin, plate, bag, rubber band, etc.

  • Choose glass containers over plastic containers - glass is 100% recyclable.