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/value for money?
  • Is it single-use/disposable?
  • How long will it last?
  • Will I have to replace it soon/often?
  • Can I opt for a second-hand version instead?
  • Can I borrow or loan instead of buying my own?

Avoid single use packaging

  • Opt for fruits and vegetables with no packaging where possible.
  • Chose packaging free alternatives e.g. 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. Get in touch with our Waste Minimisation Officer to get your hands on a sticker for your letterbox.

Contact us

  • Straws

    Plastic straws will soon be banned in New Zealand, but paper straws still exist. If disposed with rubbish, the paper straws cannot naturally compost, and will instead release methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, when in landfill. 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 on its way out in New Zealand but compostable cutlery is still very much existent. 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

    Same story with napkins – if they are not being composted, they end up in landfill where they release methane when breaking down. Bring your own cloth napkin or handkerchief instead.

  • Flyers / 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
  • Reuse these bags over and over, or use a cloth alternative that will last a lot longer.