Ideas for going beyond the plastic bag ban 101 and transforming your weekly shop into a walk in the wilderness.
No doubt you'll have heard this many times, but do you have a local farmers market? A local grocer? An independent supermarket? A bulk food store? All of the above? Basically where we’re heading with this is that if you have options to get Australian produce straight into your hands sans packaging, then this makes everything so much easier, and better.
A bulk food store is heavenly: there’s Scoop and Source in a growing number of locations Australia wide - they're magical for replenishing your staples, including teas, nuts, cereals, pastas and rice, seeds and oils, and sometimes even soaps and washing soda. You can refill your own jars if you don't mind clinking down the street, or buy your favourite produce in these incredibly convenient bulk food bags which can easily fit into your handbag too. What is more, Onya's Bulk Food Bags are circular in design and made using rPET, which is a fabric made from recycled plastic drink bottles. Their circularity means they can also be recycled at the end of their life, so they are a zero waste zero waste product - all the feels.
If you don’t have at least one reusable shopping bag stuffed in the back of the cupboard under your sink, you should probably buy a lottery ticket. These days it’s chic to have one, or 5 (but not too many or we might start to have another problem on our hands?).
The best are those that are made from natural materials so they don't mimic the plastic bag problem, and the very best ones in our opinion are the ones that also don’t take up any room in your bag, but can still carry basically everything in the store home for you: a Cotton String Shopper. They're lifesavers, and together with our Circular Denim Totes, they're a pretty dynamic duo. Add the heavies to your triple stitched tote and everything else to the shopper and you'll be able to comfortably wander on home.
And if you're a Mama or a Papa, you can double down on your line-up and also get your kids a matching tote if they're the kind who love to help you do the shopping. Our Little Circular Denim Totes are perfect for 2 - 5+ year olds and will be a handy addition, even if they decide they don't want to carry it half-way through!
It’s true. Gone are the days you even have to look for the roll of plastic bags to bag your broccoli. Now you can just whip out your bag and put whatever fruit/vegie/nut/pasta you want in. The options are beautiful and great – the ones we stock are Onya's reusable mesh bags which are circular and, like the Bulk Food Bags, have been made from recycled plastic drink bottles and can also be recycled at the end of their life – the best.
Other options include beautiful organic cotton muslin or string mesh, and you can also make your own if you're handy with a needle and thread or sewing machine and have some lightweight fabrics you can repurpose. Whichever material is for you, they’ll save so much unnecessary packaging and last a long time.
Confession: Fresh, crusty sourdough is heaven, despite every fitness related influence in my life stating the opposite. Another circular beauty, our bread bag is super handy to accompany you to your local bakery.
It's made to fit over most bakery slicing machines, so it's a dream for them too, and when it’s filled, fold it over a few times and clip it closed - you can then slot it over your arm while you gather your remaining fresh food haul.
What's more, if you want a few croissants too, the bag is big enough to add them in with your loaf of bread. And when you get home, if you're a bread in the freezer kind of household, the whole bag can go straight in - so fresh, convenient and useful.
If you buy meat, fish, cheese and other fridge-bound processed foods, you can try it out with your own reusable containers and find a local store who is happy to supply it to you in such. Any of your existing tupperware containers would be a great – no need to buy anything if you’ve already got a stash of these around, but if you're looking for something that could double as a lunchbox too, our EarthStor Bamboo Bentos are a great and super sustainable option.
You can also buy cheese or salami straight over the counter with our Beeswax Wraps, and then pop them straight in the fridge when you get home, wrapping and all.
These are a little harder if you don’t happen to have a great store which has all your needs on tap ready for your 1L bottles. Of course, there’s always the option to make your own? You’ve got a spare 15 mins between midnight and 6am, right?!
Making your own nut milk or juices can be seriously easy and absolutely divine. Our nut milk bags are made in Australia from natural organic hemp fabric, and they're great to strain the pulp so that your milk is smooth and creamy. We love them. You can also be the ultimate food waste fighter and pop the pulp into your smoothie mix so none of the good stuff is wasted.
So many great manufacturers have cottoned onto the plastics problem and you’ll find more and more foods in glass packaging or recyclable packaging, like soups, milks, yoghurts and juices. Better yet, once you’re done, you’ll have another jar to add to your bulk food storage posse, or to add a few more flowers around your home.
For the stuff you can’t avoid, REDcycle will recycle a host of soft plastics and foil wrappers like chip and biscuit packets, which will help reduce your waste dramatically. Here’s the list of what you can recycle with REDcycle, and conveniently Coles and Woolworths have drop-off points, as well as a number of other places - here's the full list.
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