Circular Economy Reuse Pilots Fund – Funded projects

Last updated: 26 May 2023
Number of recipients to date: 5 in Round 1; 11 in Round 2
Total funding awarded to date: $272,274 in Round 1; $350,678 in Round 2
All projects to be completed by: May 2023 in Round 1; July 2023 in Round 2

The Circular Economy Reuse Pilots Fund is designed to achieve the following outcomes to support delivery of the single-use plastics ban:

  • Collect data that will inform other businesses on the feasibility of reuse systems in different hospitality settings.
  • Support Victorian food serving businesses to implement waste avoidance and reuse solutions.
  • Increase awareness of problematic single-use plastic items and alternatives available.
  • Reduce waste generation and litter.

Round 1 fund recipients

Announcement date: 25 August 2022.

Bendigo Health

Implementing a pilot project for the use of reusable cups. Polystyrene cups will be replaced by reusable Melamine cups for the visitors and staff. Stainless steel cups for medicine will also be trialed.

Funding: $20,614

Deakin University

Introducing a reuse system at the Waurn Ponds Campus. Through this pilot, Deakin University will install a commercial dishwasher; purchase reusable crockery, cutlery and cups; provide collection stations; install signage and other communication items; and provide training to staff.

Funding: $85,000

Investa Asset management Pty Ltd

Applying the Returnr Micropool reuse system for 23 hospitality businesses at 567 Collins Street allowing 4,600 users per month to switch from disposables to reusable items. This project will also test the impact of initiatives on an individual’s willingness to use returnable containers.

Allocated Funding: $16,360

La Trobe University

Enacting a “Wash Against Waste” Pilot program by providing reusable crockery to food businesses at its Bundoora campus. A dish-washing hub with a commercial dishwasher centrally located to the Agora food court will be installed. La Trobe University will purchase crockery, cutlery and cups, provide collection stations, install signage and other communication items, and provide training to staff.

Funding: $64,500

Monash University

Promoting and providing reusable solutions through the Monash University Ditch Disposables program. Monash University will implement a centralised reusable crockery and cutlery system to support the food outlets at Clayton campus.

Funding: $85,800

Round 2 fund recipients

Announcement date: 9 December 2022.

Billy van Creamy

Sourcing, purchasing, and customising reusable 500ml and 1 litre take home ice-cream tubs. Containers will be distributed with a nominal deposit amount attached which is refundable to the customer on return of the container to Billy van Creamy.

Cercle Co Pty Ltd

Establishing the Cercle reuse system for takeaway coffee cups at 2 office buildings in Melbourne's central business district (CBD). The project will install an on-site washing facility to clean and dry the reusable coffee cups supplied to office workers through this project.

Free to Feed Ltd

Providing corporate catering in reusable and returnable packaging. This pilot will enable Free to Feed to trial different collection methods to understand feasibility to scale the use of returnable containers.


Collaborating with social enterprise CoGround and Swinburne University to deliver the HuskeeSwap system to reduce single-use coffee cups and lids across 11 permanent venues and booked events during the pilot period.

Infinity Sustainable Solutions

Implementing reusable containers for food and beverages within the Sorrento area. The pilot will run in the popular holiday and beach destinations of Sorrento over a 2-month period.

One Good Cup Pty Ltd

Providing reusable coffee cups and software so that Barwon Health staff can easily reduce single-use coffee cups at work. OneGood Cup will provide access to memberships which grants access to 2 cups at a time.

Responsible Cafes

Reducing waste generated by disposable coffee cups and food containers. By partnering with Whitehorse City Council, Geelong City Council, City of Greater Bendigo, Geelong Sustainability and Australian reusable brands Huskee and Replated, 60 participating cafes will be accredited as Responsible Cafes, gaining access to a customised sustainability score, and receiving a fleet of reusable containers, coffee cups and lids.

Sandringham Traders Association

Working with multiple partners to trial 2 systems to increase reusables in the Sandringham business precinct that has 34 food outlets. The first system will focus on encouraging customers to bring their own containers and the second a reusable container system using Infinity Box and Returnr.

The Corner Store Network

Removing single-use takeaway coffee cups across its 5 venues with its ‘borrow, return, wash’ program. This system will be implemented in both the permanent cafes and across the mobile coffee van service.


Developing a multimedia label called ‘ZeroTag’ that can be used for different reuse systems. The dishwasher-safe label with a QR code can be applied onto any reusable container, and when scanned, shows the brand and product information.

Wodonga City Council

Installing a water bottle refill station, purchasing reusable cups to replace all current single-use cups used at water, tea, and coffee stations at the art and entertainment centre Cube Wodonga. This project also includes purchasing reusable stemless wine glasses to replace plastic cups for large outdoor events, where glass cannot be used.

More information

Email us if you have any queries about this grant.