BYO: Customers bringing reusable items like food vessels, straws and cutlery will help the market cut down on waste.

There’s been a bit of a fuss made recently (by some) about the ‘inconvenience’ or phasing out plastic bags at the big supermarkets. For farmers market shoppers it’s no big deal –  they’ve been bringing their own bags for years!

Actually, market shoppers don’t just bring bags – they have all kinds of creative ways to carry their produce, from garden cart trolleys and shopping trolley bags on wheels to big woven baskets and boxes.

Apart form the bags, there’s lots of other great waste-saving initiatives in place at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market – like the cup wash, which saves more than 15,000 coffee cups from going to landfill every year. Breakfast stalls The Nomadic Kitchen and Mayfields use reusable cutlery and plates, and plastic produce bags have been largely phased out, replaced by biodegradable bags.

There is always more that can be done, however, so in Plastic Free July, Mullum and its  sister market, New Brighton Farmers Market, are asking their customers, to take it a step further.

During Plastic Free July, shoppers are asked to go beyond bringing shopping bags only, and bring some other things to help the market cut down on waste.

If you want to have breakfast or a snack at a stall that does not have reusable plates, for example, why not bring your own reusable container, plate or bowl. Stallholders will happily serve your food into one of these. Bring your own reusable cutlery, cups and straws too.

If you’re not doing it already, you can also bring your own containers or jars from home for refills of products like olives and olive oil, and reusable produce bags for your fresh produce. There are some excellent reusable cloth produce bags available now that are specifically designed to maximise storage time of your produce in the fridge. Beeswax wraps are another alternative to plastic for storing your fresh produce once you get it home.

Check the market’s social media for updates and waste saving tips this month and thanks for helping make a difference!