The next business in the spotlight is Border Just Foods located on Hume Street in Albury. Border Just Foods started as a Co-Op back in 1988 and has now been owned and run as a family business for over 30 years. They were happy to talk to Halve Waste about how their business helps to reduce waste.

Why was Border Just Foods started in the first place?

A group of locals started the co-op to get access to fresh produce from Melbourne. It then slowly morphed into supplying the community with bulk local products such as flours, nuts and dried fruit. We are one of the small number of businesses in this area that provide customers with the option of bringing in their own containers to fill,  to reduce the amount of packaging they purchase.

 

How does your business reduce the amount of packaging at Point of Sale and why is this important?

Apart from the pre-packaged section out the front, our stock is in bulk. This way customers can bring their own containers in and refill them with as little or as much as they require, which in turn reduces waste and the need for packaging. Much of the waste in your household rubbish bins is actually food packaging, so by refilling your own containers you can have more room in your bin while less waste goes to the landfill to get buried.

Do you have any tips for people who would like to reduce their waste at home but don’t know where to start?

It’s easy to start off small. You can buy different sized reusable containers for bulk products such as herbs & spices, flour and rice that you can just bring here and refill when you need it – with the exact amount that you want. Better still, you can even label and re-use empty containers such as Moccona coffee jars to keep them out of your bins at home. Even starting a small compost bin or section in the garden is something that can reduce waste and is beneficial for our environment. Avoiding and reducing waste is very important in the grand scheme of things.

Why initiatives do you have in place to minimize your ecological footprint?

We try to buy local and encourage customers to support local products. Our suppliers come from Mitta Mitta, Gapstead, Stanley, Eldorado, Holbrook, Bungoona, Yackandandah, Wodonga, Chiltern and Walla Walla. By keeping it local, we are helping create and foster entrepreneurs in our region. The products are fresh and low in food miles which makes a positive impact on the community and the environment. We try to stock reusable items such as water bottles, coffees cups and bags in store.

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