Returnr free-to-borrow reusable products

  • 2020

  • Product
    Housewares and Objects

Designed By:

Commissioned By:


Cumulo Group

Designed In:


The Returnr free-to-borrow product system offers an easy to adopt range of reusable products that eliminate the need for single-use takeaway food packaging waste. Borrowed with a $6 fully refundable deposit, Returnr’s range of cups, bowl, canister and lids can completely eliminate the need for disposable packaging.

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Image: Tom Roger
Image: Tom Roger
Image: Tom Roger
Image: Tom Roger
Image: Tom Roger
Image: Tom Roger
Image: Tom Roger
  • MORE
  • Returnr’s business model and range of reusable products responds to several distinct design challenges. Encouraging widespread use of reusable products for consuming takeaway food and beverages calls for products that are very low cost to use, easy for consumers to adopt, products that can be reused thousands of times, and products that can be completely hygienic and not retain odours and smells in shared use.

  • Returnr reusable stainless-steel products are free-to-borrow for end consumers with a fully refundable $6 deposit. Returnr’s shared product system doesn’t require any scanning, no app downloads, no credit card details and no personal contact details of users – making adoption of Returnr’s products super simple. The core of Returnr’s physical products are the twin-walled stainless-steel cups, bowl and canister. The twin-walled design provides great insulation for hot and cold food and beverages, while the stainless-steel offers an inherently safe hygienic surface that doesn’t retain odours or stains when washed at high temperature.

  • Despite 10+ years of great purchase-and-own reusable coffee cup designs, reuse rates for takeaway coffee have struggled to rise above 30%, and reuse rates for meals and other beverages are far lower. Returnr’s low cost, easy to adopt, and specifically designed for sharing product provides the option for takeaway venues to completely eliminate disposable packaging. In 2019, Returnr launched with St Ali & Mercedes Me café in Melbourne as an entirely zero waste venue, and Returnr partnered with St Ali & The Big Design Market in delivering zero waste takeaway coffee to over 3,000 customers in 3 days.

  • Returnr products can be used without a lid, or with our range of 100% recyclable moulded cardboard lids that come without any polymer or chemical coating. In addition, Returnr has a range of reusable silicone lids that users can buy and own to allow 100% zero waste lidded use. Returnr’s canister products come with a unique tagging solution for labelling coffee beans and pantry items purchased in the zero waste reusable canisters and stored in the home. Returnr’s twin-walled cups and canisters are nestable for better logistics efficiency and Returnr’s 1ltr bowl is stackable to easily carry multiple bowls. Returnr’s deposit-return product system is an excellent way for users to employ reusable products in a zero-contact fashion to minimise transmission risk. Used cups, bowls and canisters can be dropped in in a washing basket or tray and food and beverages served only in cleaned and sanitised product held by the café/restaurant. Controlling hygiene and eliminating single-use waste at the same time.