Bits and Pieces 

I’m getting to the end of my dishwashing liquid, washing powder and  conditioner but they’re not done yet so no updates there. In the meantime here are some other things that I’m using/doing  to avoid plastic

1 Beeswax wraps

These are a great substitute for cling film (glad wrap). They are basically thin cotton coated in naturally antibacterial beeswax. You shape them over the item you’re wrapping with the heat of your hand. If you put it in the fridge, it hardens and clings tighter to the object it’s wrapping. 

I use them all the time on cheese and butter. You can’t use them on meat and you have to be careful not to wash them in hot water, but you can simply rinse them off and let them dry. If they start to crack or harden, simply pop in a cool over for a minute and they’re good to go. 

The one below is one I bought at the Thorndon Fair last year  but I’ve also made some by putting baking paper on an oven tray (to catch any wax drops), placing the cotton on it and grating some beeswax over it. A few minutes in the oven and a few minutes to cool and you’re done. It does turn the fabric yellow which  I don’t expect and will choose my fabric more carefully next time. Here’s a much more thorough methodology if you’re tempted to try your own. 

Some recipes suggest adding an oil such as jojoba or almond and/or pine resin.  

They’ve started popping up in lots of shops here- some Nz suppliers are

2 Butter belle

Bread and butter is one of my favourite foods but hard unspreadable butter is not! I don’t like margarine – I’d prefer to have dry bread than butter alternatives which is probably why I like Mainlands Buttersoft so much. The plastic tub has ruled it out now but my Butterbell works perfectly well (except in the warm weather the last too weeks) and I have spreadable butter plastic free. I am on my second one – small hands, buttery ceramic and a high shelf don’t mix but the replacement has been going strong for the last 6 months.

3 Keep Cup

My keep cup is plastic rather than glass because I was an early adopter and they didn’t make the glass ones 3 years ago when I got mine. I was very jealous of a colleague’s glass one last year but now that I’ve vetoed disposable takeaway cups, I take mine everywhere so I don’t miss out on my caffeine fix and I’m quite glad now it’s lighter. 

4 Bamboo cotton buds

I’ve just bought my first packet of these 


Interestingly, in the UK Tescos and Sainsburys took action against the plastic stems in standard cotton buds. It forced Johnson and Johnson to commit to making their stems out of paper too but sadly only in half the world.

5.  Sellotape 

Rather than wrap my Christmas presents last year with paper and Sellotape, I made some simple drawstring bags which hopefully the recipients will reuse next year.


For other things I’ve just used paper masking tape or rubber bands. 

6. Bulk bins

I mention these a lot but it was only when a UK visitor said to me that she was blown away by them in the supermarket that I realised this isn’t commonplace everywhere. So here’s a selection of photos from my local supermarkets if what’s available. They can’t tare your container so best to have some produce bags on hand. I’ve noticed in the last year that most supermarkets stock these, though of course, you can make your own. 

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7 thoughts on “Bits and Pieces 

  1. The last photograph highlights the need for bulk buying when you see the food in the plastic boxes underneath.
    I look forward to seeing your solution to the detergent crisis. Are the cardboard boxes of soap powder plasticised?

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    1. Yes, the 4 packs of croissants etc. Even though they have loose ones and paper bags to put them in on the right but they must sell like that.
      I don’t know if the cardboard soap powder is plastic lined. I hope not!

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  2. I had just been looking at the beeswax wraps and thinking of getting some to try. Glad to hear a recommendation from a real person! Re the presents, you can get nice raffia or just common old garden string for your parcels. And then a hole punched in your gift tag means you can thread it onto the string and save using sellotape for that.

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  3. I meant to take some photos of the bulkbuy area before I left but ran out of time (and energy), please may I use a couple of yours – partly for the blog and also for my photo book? And after hearing about the beeswrap from both you and Anna I brought some home with me. I’ve never seen it in the UK – but that may just be because I’ve not noticed it.

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