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WASTE FREE 2019 - JANUARY EDITION - STEP 1: Bring it Back!

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For my first blog as part of My Last Bag’s 2019 Waste Free campaign I’m going to talk about what I call ‘BRING IT BACK’.

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Most of us are familiar with the 5 R’s of Zero Waste; Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot. However when we apply BRING IT BACK we don’t even really need to start here. BRING IT BACK is something I only get to apply at my local farmers market ~ but as I try and do the majority of my shopping here it works well.

Here are 5 ways I ‘BRING IT BACK’ at my local market. Can you find a local organic shop or farmers market you can do this with? Remember that most store holders will not advertise this ‘service’ but when having a friendly chat, most store owners and stall holders are delighted to help and some will even give you discounts for it.  

  • Dips & Pesto

My personal most favourite dip from the market is a black olive paste, it’s just divine. The man who makes them happily accepts the clean empty glass jars I bring back and also gives me a discount on my next purchase pending how many jars I return.

  • Fruit & Veggie Store

I get most of my veggies, potatoes, carrots, capsicum, cucumber etc from my one trusted favourite store at the market. Any loose items like snow peas I put into the My Last Bag Veggie bag. At this particular stall they also bag up passion fruits or cherry tomatoes sometimes and you get a bag for $5. As I don’t want to bring the netted bag home I empty the netted bag into my own Veggie bag and give them the netted bag back, they reuse it to bag up the next lot. Practising REFUSE where they in turn REUSE.

  • Olive Store

At the olive store I simply practice REFUSE. Instead of accepting the plastic tubs they put the olives in I bring my own Tupperware container which they happily fill with the bulk olives they have. Sometimes I love buying the dried olives as an extra treat. They don’t have the dried olives in bulk, so I hand them my container and pick my dried olives up the following week.

  • Blueberries

At the blueberry stand I usually get two punnets of blueberries. After speaking to the stall holder he told me that he can legally reuse the punnets as long as they don’t leave his store. I bring my own container, we empty the blueberries into my container at the store and he then REUSES the punnets.

  • Ghee & Honey

Then last but not least there’s the store where I get my Ghee, and the Honey store. Once again I bring my clean glass jars back which they then REUSE for their next batch. The Honey store even gives me a discount on my next purchase!


It takes a little bit of organising and finding out which stalls will and how they can cooperate towards a Waste Free 2019, but trust me, once you’ve done it a few times you pack your market bag without thinking, it just becomes habit.

I do my market trip coming home with no extra waste, nothing to Reduce, Reuse or Recycle and only left over foods to Rot. The only items I bring home that are not edible are items I will BRING BACK.

Looking at the examples above, in one market trip I will save 3 to 4 glass jars, 1 to 2 netted bags, 1 to 2 plastic tubs and 2 plastic punnets. See how you go shopping at your next farmers market trip!


Produce Bag Veggie Bag My Last Bag


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