Can packaging be fairer?

Together we're minimising waste with circular solutions, creativity and a good dose of teamwork.​

we collect our packaging for reuse

Leave it out for collection with your next delivery.​

That means your flat-packed boxes, cooler boxes, pouches and ice pack water bottles. Thank you! At Fair Food we’ve always been mindful of our collective impact and we're always improving and adapting our processes to minimise waste. From our returnable packaging that’s reused many times over, to our goal of a fully electric delivery fleet, we’re refusing, reducing and reusing from farm to warehouse to kitchen!

Fair Food box at door

Cardboard boxes

Reused as many times as possible. It takes a lot of water and energy to make these simple boxes, so it makes a HUGE impact just by returning your box to us for reuse.

Flatten carefully and leave out for drivers to collect on their next visit.

Our new cardboard coolers

After a successful trial, our new returnable cooler boxes are here to stay, keeping your chilled groceries totally cool in 100% recyclable wood pulp.

Give the cooler back to your driver straight away or leave out for them to collect on their next visit.

Insulated pouches

Made in Australia from 100% recycled paper and newspaper, these are wonderful for keeping small items chilled.

Please open the tape carefully to keep these in circulation as long as possible.

Give the pouch back to your driver straight away or leave out for them to collect on their next visit.

Water bottle ice packs

Plastic water bottles, though a ubiquitous problem, remain quite useful in our context. They’re (almost endlessly) reusable as our frozen ice packs, and they’re long lasting, cost effective and widely recyclable.

We’ll keep looking to innovate, but until we find a better system we’ll continue using them.

If you receive refrigerated items with a water bottle ice pack, make sure you send the cooler and water bottle back for another round!

Phasing out white coolers

Since starting Fair Food, we’ve made use of our incoming ‘broccoli boxes’ and reusable polystyrene, all the while workshopping alternatives.

Excitingly, our new insulated cardboard coolers are here and we’re now phasing out our white coolers as they reach the end of their usable life.

Note – some large items may still require our tall ‘broccoli boxes’, which come in from the broccoli growers. If you receive one, they can be returned on delivery or left out for our drivers to collect.

Returnable product packaging

When possible, we accept product packaging back for reuse too. Check individual product descriptions through the links below for all the essential details. 

Schulz – milk in glass
Dirt – laundry liquid pouches
Dr Planet – 1L and 2.5L bottles

Eco cellophane bags

Mostly used to pack our loose leaf greens, pine nuts and desiccated coconut,  these plastic free bags are made from wood cellulose and are fully home compostable. They’re great to get fresh spinach and roquette out to you, but are too breathable for storage so transfer your leaves into a sealed container to retain freshness

Home compostable. 

Visit Fruit and Veg Storage Guide 

*Council FOGO / green waste collections do not currently accept home compostable packaging. Check with your local council as green waste services may change.

Twist tie packs

Restocking the pantry with our plastic free wholefoods is a simple way to cut out single use plastics from your weekly shop. All our bulk nuts, pulses and grains are packed in Detpak reusable paper bags which are fully biodegradable and council compostable.

Remove the tin-tie* before adding to your organics/green waste waste bin (depending on your council guidelines).

*The metal tin-tie is reusable and recyclable. 

CERES Bakery bags

Our very own in-park bakery is the only bread in our range that sports paper packaging. 

Compostable and recyclable.

Packing tape

We use plastic free tape if extra sturdiness is needed on our boxes or coolers.


Perforated cardboard wrap

Fragile items, such as wine, eggs and glass bottles are protected with our in-house perforated wrap, which utilises waste cardboard coming into the warehouse and makes sure your groceries arrive safe and sound.

Compostable and recyclable.

Label and packing slip

Delivery labels and packing slips are full of handy info for our packing and delivery teams.

Currently the backing for these stickers and slips is a plastic product that can not be recycled, however we are in the process of sourcing new printables that are plastic free.

keeping cool

Working together to beat the heat.

Here’s what we’re up to, and what you can do, to help keep your deliveries as cool as possible.

How we prepare for high temperatures:

  • We add an extra frozen bottle to our insulated coolers and pouches for days over 28°C.
  • We ensure our refrigerated delivery vans are kept at their minimum possible temperature.
  • On extreme heat days, we may utilise our white broccoli boxes (we receive our broccoli in these and they’re very insulative) – please leave them out for collection, we’ll reuse them to avoid landfill waste.

What you can do:

  • Can we leave your order somewhere out of the sun? Update your account with a message for our drivers. 
  • Be mindful of bringing your goodies inside as soon as you can. Could a friend or neighbour help if you’re not home? You’ll receive an estimated delivery window, and a delivery confirmation.
  • If you anticipate an issue with a hot day approaching, consider changing the date of your delivery (easy edits can be made before 7pm the day before delivery).
  • Refresh produce in a cold bath after a hot day – especially leafy veg. Leaves love to rehydrate in a sink of clean cold water before storing. Head to our Storage Guide for more info.


Packaging levy

Your contribution helps us to provide a full range of plastic free, compostable and returnable packaging that is future focussed and used many times over, including our cardboard boxes, eco-cello bags and insulated coolers and pouches.

Together we can deliver fresh quality groceries with circular systems that reflect our values and vision for a fairer future.

*The $1 levy applies to every delivery.
*‘Recurring orders’ paid upfront will include a $1 levy per delivery.
*The levy is applied to cart before delivery fees or minimum spend are calculated.    

warehouse soft plastics recycling

Reground soft plastics recycling


Working together for a greater impact

Since March 2022 we have been redirecting and recycling all our warehouse* soft plastics with thanks to the team at Reground. The soft plastics that we receive in our warehouse are collected and recycled into innovative building film. Utilising this resource instead of it ending up in landfill or the ocean is a huge undertaking, and we are so appreciative of Reground’s work. *Please note, unfortunately Reground does not have capacity to accept consumer soft plastics.

A snapshot from our current impact report:


Bringing bags back to life

Cesar is the artist behind Aoracreo, a brand that makes bags and wallets using upcycled soft plastic. He’s been working with plastics since 2011. While studying industrial design at RMIT he learnt a unique technique of ironing which allowed him to innovate and expand his range. Cesar collects the bright coloured plastics that our carrots and bananas come in to use in his bag designs. You can find his work in our gift aisle, at the CERES Makers and Flea Market, and find out more at – Thanks Cesar!

Some of Cesar’s designs

CERES Microgreens

CERES Microgreens

Woiwurrung Country – Preston

0km from Fair Food

Growers: Jess and Nina

Growing: Pea shoots and radish shoots

How: Certified organic, regenerative practices, biointensive, social enterprise

CERES Organic Bakery

CERES Organic Bakery​

Woiwurrung Country – Brunswick East

7km from Fair Food

Maker: Alex

Making: Sourdough loaves

Using: Certified organic ingredients

Packaging: Compostable and recyclable

CERES Joe's Market Garden​

Woiwurrung Country – Coburg

6km from Fair Food

Growers: Emily

Growing: Greens, herbs, flowers, carrots, radishes, zucchinis, fennel, tomatoes, Lebanese cucumbers

How: Certified organic, regenerative practices, social enterprise