The Grey Lynn Farmers Market is leading the way to become New Zealand’s first zero waste farmers market with a range of innovative approaches aimed at reducing, reusing and recycling the waste that is created at the Market.
“We are seeking creative solutions to combat our growing rubbish problem, by giving shoppers the opportunity to bring back unwanted items, reuse packaging that is normally thrown away, and by offering alternatives to plastic bags and composting all our organic waste” says market manager Charlotte Gordon.
The project started with a popular ‘bring it back’ depot, where items can be dropped off or taken away, such as egg cartons, glass jars, takeaway containers and plastic bags - similar to a small-scale resource recovery centre in our neighbourhood.
Only compostable cups for coffee and juices are now available and all the market compost gets taken away by local composting company We Compost.
Stallholders have come on board by reducing or removing all waste-to-landfill on their stalls. This means compostable and recyclable packaging and asking customers ‘ do you need a bag.’ A large ‘grab a bag’ bin is available for shoppers to take a plastic bag or drop off their excess plastic bags for others to reuse.
“A farmers market can be a force for change in the community and Grey Lynn Farmers Market wants to be a place where people can not only reduce their waste but also actively recycle and reuse resources “ says Ms Gordon “ It’s about making it easy to compost, recycle and reduce waste to landfill while still enjoying the unique shopping experience of the market,” says Gordon.
In November the market will be launched as officially Zero Waste with a series of Zero Waste events including a ‘make your own lovenotes’ workshop to create hand designed stationary from waste paper, a composting workshop by Kaipatiki Project, a zero waste cooking class where 2012 chef of the Year David Schofield will present how to use up food like old veggies and bread, that often gets wasted. There will also be a talk by Waveney Warth on her ‘rubbish free year.’