An estimated 10,000 single-use coffee cups will be diverted from landfill at this year’s Big Design Market, thanks to a collaboration between Melbourne coffee-roasting heavyweight St Ali and sustainability initiative Returnr.

The Big Design Market celebrates some of Australia’s best and brightest design talent and will involve more than 200 stallholders at The Cutaway at Barangaroo selling everything from clothes to accessories and homewares. St Ali will be there brewing beans for shoppers, and it’s partnered with Melbourne-based sustainability initiative Returnr to keep the market waste-free.

Returnr was launched by Jamie Forsyth, who co-founded KeepCup. His aim is to eliminate single-use takeaway food and drink packaging; he also founded BeetBox, a multi-use takeaway-container company that will be selling its wares at the market. Returnr’s twin-walled stainless-steel takeaway coffee cups will be available to borrow for a $6 deposit. Customers will get their money back when the cup is returned at either The Big Design Market or a Returnr partner venue in Sydney (including Single O Surry Hills and CBD, Regiment, and Ruby Lane.

Reusable lids for the cups will also be available to buy for $5.85, though St Ali and Returnr are both encouraging users to enjoy their coffees lid-free. There will be 2000 Returnr cups on-site; the team will be washing them to reuse throughout the day. No single-use takeaway cups will be available. And you're free to bring your own from home.

This is the first time St Ali – which has a cafe in Melbourne and supplies its beans to many more – has popped up in Sydney, but plans are afoot to bring the empire north.

The Big Design Market runs from September 20 to 22.

thebigdesignmarket.com