As we get closer to the end of semester, we’re shifting into a period of the year where we’re often a little bit more wasteful than we should be. Thankfully, local initiatives are keeping the momentum of Plastic Free July going.

The Source Bulk Foods store in Dickson is one of over 40 stores across the nation taking steps to address Australia’s “waste crisis” and is encouraging Canberrans to reduce their household waste.

According to one of the owners of the Dickson store, Emma Mason, reducing our household waste is fundamental to the future of waste management in Australia:

“Looking after the environment is central to the way we live our life. We look and live like most Canberrans, as we believe it’s the small but consistent things we do which make a difference.”

“Bulk foods shopping is one such way and being able to buy pantry staples and household and personal cleaning products without all the packaging and in the quantities we need is an example of this,” she said.

This is where places like the Source Bulk Foods store play an important role to reducing household waste here in Canberra. According to the ABC’s War on Waste, Australian households throw away 3.1 million tonnes of food away every year. In addition to this, a third of all household rubbish is food waste.

This is one of the core reasons that stores like Source Bulk Foods are encouraging people to only buy what they need when it comes to perishable items, and their pantry items in bulk to reduce their plastic waste.

“As farmers, we understand the time, effort, energy and love that goes into producing good quality food,” Emma said.

“Reducing food waste by only buying what we need, using all parts of the food and composting scraps is not only good for the environment but respectful to our farmers and those who work in supporting industries. Mother nature looks after us and we have to look after her in return.”


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The Source Bulk Foods co-founder Paul Medeiros hopes that through educational events around the country, more people will be inspired to adopt a zero or low-waste lifestyle.

“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for everyone to make a change,” he said.

“Zero waste is not about recycling more, but less, by preventing waste from coming into our homes in the first place. By buying in bulk through stores like The Source Bulk Foods, Australians have all the resources they need to achieve zero waste at home.”

He added that The Source Bulk Foods store in Dickson would also be promoting local zero waste initiatives through events. However, Emma acknowledged that going completely zero waste is not achievable for everyone for a number of reasons, but encourages people to minimise their waste wherever possible.

“We started a number of years ago simply by going through our pantry and our bathroom cupboards and committing to not buying anything new until all the existing ingredients and products had been used up,” she said.

“I use brown paper bags at the markets when buying fruit and vegetables and I’ve almost had to give up on berries as I don’t like the plastic containers they come in.

“Everyone just needs to do what they can do no matter how large or small. Every action is compounded and therefore makes a difference in the long run.”

“Reducing waste is a lifestyle and food is only one part of it. Refusing plastic bags, using reusable coffee cups and takeaway containers and saying no to plastic straws is a great way to start.”

The Source Bulk Foods is an Australian bulk wholefoods retailer with over 40 stores located around the country. For store locations and more information, visit: