Returnr Marketplace

  • 2022

  • Service
    Commercial Services

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Cumulo Group


Designed In:


Returnr Marketplace delivers groceries & alcohol to Melbourne homes in reusable containers that eliminate single-use packaging waste & provide sleek pantry organisation. A member only service, with membership fees helping cover container collection & washing costs. Returnr Marketplace is a true circular economy business.

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Image: Returnr
Image: Returnr
Image: Returnr
Image: Returnr
Image: Returnr
Image: Returnr
Image: Returnr
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  • Returnr Marketplace needed to overcome several design challenges; (1) Developing a strategy that would support return logistics of empty containers, (2) Sourcing suppliers who were willing to explore filling reused/returned containers or willing to supply in bulk reusable containers for us to pack down, (3) Design and development of reusable containers tailored to reuse and home storage of particular grocery types, with the aim of exceeding the utility currently offered by single-use packaging in given food/beverage categories, and (4) Creating a cost structure and monetisation strategy that would reduce barriers to customer adoption and create a financially viable business.

  • To overcome the return logistics, grocery packaging, product shelf life and the financial viability challenges of Returnr Marketplace our design solution focused on a primarily local offering. Working with local suppliers who package groceries in Victoria enabled us to pack in reusable containers, while not impacting negatively on product shelf life or Cost of Goods. And allowed us to launch a centralised Melbourne-based order fulfillment, returned container receiving, washing and food packing site. Our Melbourne only delivery zone also allowed cost effective, timely (better product shelf life) and low carbon footprint logistics (and return logistics) to/from end customers.

  • 100% recyclable does not mean 100% recycled. The cost and inefficiencies in collection, lack of local recycling infrastructure, refusal to accept by offshore processors and the inherent inefficiencies and down-cycling of the plastic recycling process means that recycling is not working and may never work as intended. Returnr Marketplace's reuse system is infinitely more efficient than recycling. Each time a container is reused it is equivalent to a container being collected, sorted, recycled, and manufactured into the same container again with no down-cycling. Reducing the need for curb-side recycling, eliminating food packaging landfill and reducing the packaging carbon footprint.

  • Another core element of the Returnr Marketplace value proposition is our ever-growing ecosystem of innovative and reusable containers. Designed in-house by our specialist product design team, our containers are designed specifically with shared reuse in mind. Employing primarily stainless steel and glass materials, the containers exhibit highest level hygiene in shared use, not retaining odours or stains. While not their primary function, our containers are also designed to be recyclable at end of life and where possible separable into homogeneous material components for best end of life processing and recycling. Stainless Steel (one of our primary container materials) has been chosen as a highly sustainable material. It has a long product life in reuse (hard to break and cleans well), has very high (almost 100%) actual recapture and recycling rates, can be recycled countless times with no down-cycling, and contains a very high percentage of recycled material, around 75%. In addition to the sustainable and shared-use specific design, our system of containers offers users greater functionality. Better food/beverage preservation, pouring and measuring functionality. Better protection in transit, better pantry/fridge organisation (sleek design, stack-ability, consistent labelling), and the ability to return empty/unwanted containers for washing and reuse.