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Did you know that every minute a truckload of plastic is dumped into our oceans? Here in Wānaka, Plastic-Free Wānaka is working to reduce our contribution to plastic waste.

Plastic-Free Wānaka began in 2016 with a desire to limit plastic bag use at our local grocery stores. By 2018, it had earned its charitable status and today, PFW heads up many plastic-free initiatives including SUCFree Wānaka, shows and educational videos, waste-free fairs and a waste-free shopping guide.

This blog is about the latter of those initiatives and how you can help Wānaka go waste-free while shopping.

Shops

We should kick off by talking about specific eco friendly shops in Wānaka that prioritise reusing and recycling. Of course, we have to mention Wastebusters. In addition to awesome op shop finds, Wastebusters also runs repair workshops, education and stewardship programs, and operates a recycling centre.

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Metalworks Wanaka on Ballantyne Road is also a great place to check out if you need your metal items fixed. While there, you can browse repaired or repurposed items for sale.

Finally, we also highly recommend Revology, located in The Precinct in Wānaka CBD. Revology chooses products that are made from renewable, sustainably sourced materials and feature innovative designs across a variety of items, from kitchenware, to toys, to books and more.

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Food

On the hunt for a meal? Make it plastic-free. 

At Mediterranean Market, BYO containers and plastic-free bags to shop unpackaged, loose products like produce, deli food and oils on tap.

Freshlink Grocer aims to take groceries back to more simplistic and basic principles, with a variety of food categories like produce, meat, herbs, and pantry essentials, all with zero or minimal processing.

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You can also get your bulk refills at Organic Wholefood Haven in Wanaka CBD.

For meat-eaters, pop into the Butcher’s Block for a traditional deli experience – just remember to bring your own container!

And for delicious fresh bread, try Adam & Eve’s Bakery or People’s Bread Co. at the Wanaka Artisan Market held every Thursday next to Bullock Creek.

And for keeping that food fresh after purchase? Find beeswax wraps at the Wonder Room, Fedeli or the Wanaka Artisan Market.

Packaging and containers

While you’re shopping, you may find yourself craving a cuppa and the best way to enjoy your caffeine fix is by going single-use cup free (SUCFree). Twenty-four cafes and caravans in Wānaka have now implemented cup-lending schemes with reusable cups or libraries and eleven are completely SUCfree (no disposable cups), saving 180,000 cups from landfill annually.

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Same goes for drink bottles! There are tons of places in Wanaka where you can buy your very own reusable drink bottle and with the help of RefillIt NZ, it’s easy to find a spot to fill up!

For reusable straws, check out Metalworks or Fedeli. And while most shops don’t supply plastic bags anymore, we encourage you to bring your own reusable bag each time you shop!

Bathroom & cleaning

For bathroom or cleaning refills, check out New World, Organic Wholefood Haven or Freshlink Grocer. And for other products like unpackaged soaps, dental care and bath products, take a look at Plastic-Free Wanaka’s guide.

For more information about going plastic-free, visit Plastic-Free Wanaka’s website! And for more responsible travelling tips, click here.

#lovewānaka