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Reduce plastic waste – buy in bulk, save money

Saturday 14 January 2023 | Written by Te Ipukarea Society | Published in Environment, National

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Reduce plastic  waste – buy in  bulk, save money
Jam dispensers in action at the Edgewater Resort and Spa. SUPPLIED/ 23011329

Tourism is the largest income generator for the Cook Islands by a large margin. However, single use plastic waste generated by the tourism industry is a major contributor to the waste ending up in our landfill. This is not sustainable, writes Te Ipukarea Society.

Locally owned retail store, Paradise Supplies, located on the main road in Panama,offers a niche eco-friendly service for local accommodations and households to help reduce packaging waste.

By offering refillable products that range from cleaning products to now tasty jams, it’s becoming even more possible for businesses and families to reduce the pressure on our landfill.   

So how does the refillable service work?

In-store there are options of either refilling or bulk buying cleaning products for your benches and floors including disinfectants, laundry powder and dishwashing liquid, as well as hand soap.

Whatever refillable cleaning product you choose, they all come in concentrated amounts, saving you even more money as you are not having to use as much.

Depending on your cleaning job a refill bottle marked with the correct measurements for product dilution helps ensure people do not use more than necessary so you get more bang for your buck.

The newest dispenser edition which has got local accommodations excited is the jam and honey dispenser range.

These jam dispensers are aimed at encouraging local accommodations to make the switch from the small single use plastic wrapped breakfast spreads to bulk refillable supplies from the pictured dispenser.

This alternative option not only reduces the amount of single use waste ending up in our already overflowing landfill but also has financial benefits, saving you money in the long run.

As an added bonus, the jam dispensers have been tested to have a smooth flow as well as having a strong seal making for a clean dispense.

This way, no annoying ants can detect the tasty syrup.

Accommodations in outer islands can also make the switch to the eco-conscious dispensers, as Paradise Suppliesnow also packs and delivers to the outer islands.

The eco-friendly cleaning products sold at Paradise Supplies range from various sustainable supporting brands.

These brands include, Bio Fresh, Eartherapy, Ecofresh, Ecoknit, Fibreclean, HY.GIENE, Kemsol, Naturemade, SPA and Trust. 

Another retailer who sells bulk products in an effort to reduce waste is CITC Building Supplies, who have universal paint thinners and kerosene available for refilling containers. 

Similarly, Cook Island Building Supplies has paint thinners and turps available in bulk. 

Pak-Man, opposite Cook Islands News in Tupapa, also sells bulk dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent and multi-purpose cleaner, alongside a range of biodegradable packaging for take-away food vendors.

It’s great to see the private sector providing innovative opportunities for local businesses and households to support positive eco-conscious behaviours.

These environmental movements in the Cook Islands are key to minimising our overall waste impacts.

They create sustainable values within communities as well as supporting long term financial benefits.

So a double win for all of us.

Tourism operators using these options will find it easier to meet the criteria to be Mana Tiaki certified for sustainable, eco-friendly tourism.