Little Sky Gelato encourages using reusable containers

Last updated: 30 June 2022
close up of round stainless steel container with white gelato filled to the top and hand holding at the base and smoothing the top with a metal spoon Little Sky Gelato has almost 400 Returnr containers in circulation, which increases customer loyalty.

Since opening in 2020, Little Sky Gelato was committed to plastic-free solutions for their customers.

Their business relies heavily on take-away containers. Expanded polystyrene containers are the norm to serve and maintain temperatures of gelato, but instead Little Sky encourage their customers to use Returnr – stainless steel and insulated canisters – as a reusable solution.

A large portion of their customers are tourists, so they also provide compostable containers and spoons for customers where reuse items aren’t logical.

They use reusable metal spoons for tastings to avoid providing a single-use item.

What it means for the business

Adopting the Returnr reuse model does require a small upfront investment to purchase the reusable canisters, however the benefits include:

  • reduced costs of purchasing single use expanded polystyrene containers
  • increase of customer loyalty when transitioning to a reusable option
  • encourages return customers seeking to reduce their consumption of single-use packaging
  • free promotion and increased reach through the Returnr website.

Learn more about the businesses using Returnr:

What it means for the customer

Customers can take a Returnr canister for a $6 deposit. Once the customer is finished using the canister, it needs to be rinsed and returned to either have it refilled or to get their deposit refunded. These canisters are also accepted by other businesses who have subscribed to the Returnr model.

The impact

Little Sky Gelato has almost 400 Returnr containers in circulation and has avoided over 5,000 expanded polystyrene containers going into landfill since 2020. They receive positive feedback from both staff and customers on this initiative.