An illustration showing a plastic bottle with Refuse written underneath.

Learn ways to shop smarter and avoid single-use items that will end up in the landfill.

Think before you buy and ask yourself

  • Do I really need it?
  • Is it a good investment or value for money?
  • Is it single-use and disposable?
  • How long will it last before it needs replacing?
  • Can I opt for a second-hand version instead?
  • Can I borrow or loan this instead of buying my own?

Avoid single use packaging

  • Opt for fruits and vegetables with no packaging where possible.
  • Chose packaging free alternatives, for example, a bar of hand soap instead of liquid soap in plastic pump bottle.
  • Use refill or bulk buy stores for things like grains, cereals, oils, cleaning liquids and reuse the same containers over and over.
  • Take it even further and consider making your own products from scratch to avoid difficult to recycle packaging.
  • Have a look at this shopping guide for useful local information about zero waste shopping options in our District.  

Rubbish Trip’s Zero Waste Shopping guide for Whangārei

An image showing various packaging free vegetables and fruits.

Choose to refuse

  • Junk mail

    Put a “No Junk Mail” sticker on your letter box.

  • Straws

    Plastic straws are now banned (July 2023) in New Zealand, but paper straws still exist. If disposed of with rubbish to landfill, paper straws cannot naturally compost, and will instead release methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. Ask for no straw with your drink or bring your own metal straw to reuse over and over again.

  • Takeaway cutlery

    Plastic takeaway cutlery is also banned in New Zealand but compostable cutlery is still in use. Similar to paper straws, if these are not composted, they end up in landfill where they release methane. Bring your own reusable cutlery instead.

  • Disposable napkins

    If paper serviettes are not composted and go to landfill they also release methane. Bring your own cloth napkin or handkerchief instead.

  • Flyers and leaflets

    More often that not these will get thrown away after reading so refuse to take one in the first place.

  • Receipts

    Receipt paper is coated in a chemical that makes it unsuitable for recycling. Ask for no receipt where possible.

  • Single use produce bags
  • These are now banned and reusable produce bags are available for sale from all major supermarkets.