Sustainable grocery shopping

A large amount of our household waste comes from what we purchase when grocery shopping.

Image of sustainable shopping products, net vegetable bags, wallet, chopsticks, straws.

Below are a few simple ways to reduce your waste when grocery shopping.


  • Create a shopping list with meal plans before you head to the store to reduce the amount of  packaging and food waste. This will have a positive impact on your wallet too! 
  • Buy in bulk to reduce your overall packaging waste, such as: 
    • swapping small yoghurt pottles for large 1L containers
    • swapping multipack chippy bags for one large bag. Serve them up in lunchboxes or picnics in smaller reusable containers.
  • Make your own snacks instead of purchasing premade and packaged snacks, homemade is often healthier and tastier, check out this simple cracker recipe from Love Food Hate Waste. 
  • Buy bathroom, laundry and cleaning products in bulk. Or give making them from scratch a go, here are some easy recipes using simple ingredients from The Rubbish Trip.
  • Bulk ordering unpackaged toilet paper online is a good way of reducing plastic waste.
  • Choose package free items from bulk stores remembering to take your own reusable container from home. These are great places to source large quantities of pantry staples such as:
    • flour and grains 
    • nuts and seeds 
    • dried pulses and beans 
    • unpackaged milk alternatives or dairy milk in glass reusable bottles.
  • Don’t forget that Farmers Markets are a great place to find fresh local naked produce free of plastic!


  • Don’t forget to bring your own reusable shopping bags to the supermarket, market and grocery store.
  • You can purchase reusable fruit and vegetable produce bags to cut down on unnecessary plastic or leave your fruit and veggies loose.
  • Take your own container to the supermarket deli counter, butchers or fish mongers.
  • Reuse larger containers such as yoghurt pots and ice creams containers for storage, freezing leftovers or taking your own container.

The Rubbish Trip

The Rubbish Trip have loads of tips on reducing plastic consumption and a shopping guide to buying bulk and unpackaged products in Wellington.

And, if you want to find local businesses and community groups who can help you reduce your rubbish, check out their regional Zero Waste Guides and Interactive Shopping Map below.

The Rubbish Trip: Zero Waste Guide

The Rubbish Trip: Interactive Shopping Map

Watch our online workshop

Recycling Made Easy and Tips for Reducing Waste is a one-hour online workshop hosted by Nicola Turner from Mainstream Green.