Australian startup RETURNR launches deposit scheme for clean takeaway containers

The sustainable scheme replaces single-use takeaway containers with reusable plates and bowls

The Big Zero report

Australian startup RETURNR has launched a new system allowing people to use reusable crockery and return them to any participating outlet.

The sustainable scheme aims to dramatically reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill by replacing single-use takeaway containers with reusable plates and bowls.

It works by distributing long-lasting stainless steel bowls and cups to participating restaurants and cafes, who charge customers an AUD$6 (£3.16) deposit to take them away – shoppers can then return the packaging in exchange for their deposit after eating or keep the container if they are willing to pay for it through their deposit.

Bowls and cups can be returned to any participating restaurant or café, meaning consumers do not have to wait in one area while they eat.

The fee restaurants pay RETURNR for the containers is designed to be equal to or less than the cost of purchasing single-use items.

The firm says: “Returning is like recycling but 1,000 times better. RETURNR employs a shared pool of products and materials chosen for hygiene, safety and longevity.”

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