Reduce your waste at The Pantry

Most household rubbish and recycling is associated with our groceries; the packaging our food came in or even food scraps themselves. A lot of rubbish also comes from our bathroom and cleaning products. 

You can do you part to help the planet by simply buying certain items that are less wasteful than others, buying food unpackaged, and bringing your own reusable bags, containers and jars so that you have something to put the unpackaged food into!

You don’t have to turn your life upside down to reduce your waste. Here are some products we stock at The Pantry that are great alternatives to their plastic counterparts. 

  • Ethique range of soaps and cleaning products including bars for shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and shaving cream.

  • Beeswax wrappers instead of plastic cling film. We have a variety of sizes and patterns.

  • Bulk ingredients for baking like flours (we have over XX kinds of flour), sugars and spices.

  • Cleaning products like dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent – just BYO container. 

Here's how to shop for bulk foods at The Pantry:

  1. Gather clean, empty jars and produce bags from home that fit with the items on your shopping list. Remember lids for glass jars, and sealable containers for spices. You can carry all of your empty containers to the grocery in a reusable shopping bag. The Pantry also have Boomerang Bags you can use. 

  2. Head up to the counter at The Pantry so the staff can write down the amount each container weights when empty. This is so once you fill them with food, the staff can subtract the weight of the container so you’re only paying for the food you buy. When you come back with the same containers you won’t have to do this again. 

  3. Fill your containers with food and remember what's in your containers.

  4. Bring your purchases to the front, and check out.

  5. Congratulations, you've just shopped waste-free.

Boomerang Shopping Bag

22 July 2019

The Pantry makes it’s 3,000th  boomerang shopping bag

Since before it opened in May 2017,  a team of volunteers has been making re-useable shopping bags for the Pantry.  Recently they made bag number 3,000. They’re called Boomerang bags, with the concept being that if customers forget their own bags,  they borrow one to take their shopping home and then bring it back when they’re next in the shop. The programme has meant that The Pantry has never used a single use plastic bag.  

The bags are made from recycled material, usually new lengths of fabric that have been donated to second hand shops and are sewn together by volunteers.

Each bag is an individual creation, and customers often spend some time choosing the one that has the most appeal for them – which could be why the ‘boomerang’ part hasn’t worked entirely according to plan, said Stephen Pont,  Manager of the Pantry. “ Many customers fall in love with the bags and want to keep using them.”       

The Pantry runs a number of other initiatives to encourage less waste – including providing a recycling point for surplus glass or plastic containers for customers to use to purchase bulk foods and cleaning liquids, providing a 50c discount for people who bring their own coffee cups, using all its cafe food waste in the community garden compost and getting rid of single use packaging for things like butter in the café.

Pont said that, “It’s great that we’ve hit  the milestone of 3000 bags during plastic free July and that there are so many bags are out there being reused and contributing to reducing plastic use.”

More information:  Contact Stephen Pont,  Manager, The Pantry, 021 2456722