Sprout the Grocer on the North Shore sells wholefoods plastic-free. Photo: Alex Blackwood

10 (nearly) plastic-free places to shop in Auckland

Plastic is everywhere. It’s in our clothes, on our desks and around our food. To help break the habit, Metro has put together a list of 10 shops around Auckland making it easy to quit plastic, without breaking the bank.

Making sustainable shopping choices can sometimes end up in the ‘too hard’ basket with everything else we have to worry about, but with scientists warning the ocean could be filled with more plastic than fish by 2050, there’s no pretending the plastic problem isn’t pressing.

Regardless of what you believe the solution to all the world’s problems is, at the very least reducing your plastic consumption will be sure to release those feel-good chemicals and give you an excuse to post that #humblebrag pic of your plastic-free shopping on social media, while supporting some small businesses.

Here are our picks for the best places to shop in Auckland plastic-free:

GoodFor Wholefoods Refillery
Claiming to be New Zealand’s first completely plastic free store, GoodFor is hip, modern, and appealing to a particular millennial crowd for stopping in to grab a couple of essentials on the way to the next climate change march. GoodFor has a range of bins filled with grains, pasta, baking ingredients, nuts, herbs and spices and even some ready-to-eat treats as well as a refill section for cleaning and bathroom products. Just bring your own containers or buy some in store and you’re ready to go.
Various locations: Parnell, Takapuna, New Lynn and Ponsonby

Bin Inn
Somewhat ahead of its time, Bin Inn was established in 1988 and has become an old faithful, providing bulk bins long before #plasticfree was fashionable. There are no exposed-brick walls or glossy indoor plants here. Bin Inn is plastic free shopping without the swank. No-frills refill stations for liquids border bins filled with bulk grains, pasta, flour and snacks.
Various locations: Howick, Remuera, Onehunga, Glenfield, Browns Bay, Takanini and Pukekohe

Huckleberry 
Another great one-stop-shop for people worried about their environmental footprint. Here a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables are available, as well as a range of vegan and vegetarian alternative products. Although not everything is plastic-free, there are a small range of items available in bulk bins and they offer a discount if you bring your own reusable bag.
Various locations: Grey Lynn, Browns Bay, Glen Innes, New Lynn and Royal Oak

Commonsense Organics 
With its fresh colours and friendly decor Commonsense Organics stands out on Dominion Rd. This shop has everything you need to make less of an impact on the planet. From zero-waste household products such as shampoo and conditioner bars, to whole foods, organic fresh fruit and vegetables, bulk bins and plastic-free household cleaning gear.
284 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden

Bulk bins at Sprout the Grocer. Photo: Alex Blackwood

Mahadeo's Spice and Produce
An unsuspecting contender, this isn’t your typical plastic-free shop but it has things to offer that other environmentally conscience stores don’t. It’s sustainable shopping without the bravado. Pick up lentils, flour, beans, spices, rice and even spices here without it costing a fortune. While you’re there you might be tempted to try something new.
14 Virginia Ave East, Eden Terrace and 7/15 Salesyard Rd, Otahuhu

The Source Bulk Foods
As part of an Australian franchise, the founders Paul and Emma wanted to make it easier to buy food without the waste. As the plastic-free movement grew they expanded to New Zealand shores. Now located in Kumeu and Milford, The Source Bulk Foods is part of the movement making zero-waste shopping mainstream, offering the usual range of dried goods, oils, dried fruit as well as harder-to-find package-free tea and coffee. Bring your jars and mesh bags and get on board with their ethos of collecting only what you need.
49 Main Rd, Kumeu and 129 Kitchener Rd, Milford

Sprout the Grocer
This is the friendly face of plastic-free on the North Shore. Located in Birkenhead, Sprout the Grocer’s walls are neatly lined with bins filled with a multitude of pantry essentials, grains, flours and legumes. Customers can bring their own containers, net bags or purchase jars in store. 
100 Hinemoa St, Birkenhead

READ MORE: Sprout the Grocer brings plastic-free living to Birkenhead

Refill Nation
Here you can grind your own coffee and make your own peanut butter. They even offer pet food for your fur baby. And the best thing about it? You can do all your shopping online (for pick up or delivery, the latter of which is arguably not super environmentally friendly but hey, baby steps).
571 Te Atatu Rd, Te Atatu Peninsula

Plastic Free Pantry Waiheke Island
Island dwellers and visitors can now keep their plastic accumulation to a minimum with the Plastic Free Pantry. Founder Anna Dawson and her husband Robin were shocked to see how much plastic was in the ocean when they sailed across the pacific. One New Year's Eve they made a resolution to use less plastic and this was the beginning of their plastic-free journey. As a mother, Anna wanted to make sustainable shopping even easier by offering a delivery service. Customers can sign up to shop online and pay a $1 jar deposit. Once the jar is empty customers simply leave it outside their door where Anna will pick it up, sterilise it and back it goes into circulation.
For pickups visit 4-6 Beatty Parade in Surfdale, Waiheke

Khyber Spice Invader
It’s true, variety is the spice of life at Khyber Spice Invader. Affordable cheese is notoriously hard to find without plastic but this is the place to go to find inexpensive plastic-free cheese. Here you will find loose feta and paneer at a price which isn’t bad either. Remember to ask the staff to deduct the weight of your container or bring your own beeswax food wrap to carry your purchases home.
822 Manukau Rd, Royal Oak and 539 Great South Rd, Otahuhu

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