Community & Leadership

Mercedes me Melbourne gets a green boost

Mercedes me Store Melbourne, in collaboration with partner ST. ALi, is continuing to enhance its sustainability efforts and lower the store’s carbon footprint.


Mercedes me Store Melbourne, in collaboration with partner ST. ALi, is continuing to enhance its sustainability efforts and lower the store’s carbon footprint with the removal of all disposable takeaway coffee cups from the point of purchase, effective September 9. The store will also highlight the topic of plastic waste in society through the display of a unique, one-off installation by eco-champion Joost Bakker.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific CEO and Managing Director, Horst von Sanden, said the store would be one of the first launch cafes in Australia to utilise the new Returnr cup, an environmental initiative which aims to replace single use takeaway packaging with an equivalent reusable solution.

“Community leadership, particularly in terms of sustainability, is a strong focus at Mercedes me Store, having been certified as a carboNZeroCertTM venue,” he said.

“Mercedes me Melbourne also shines a light on important topics through its many wonderful events, with conversation evenings ranging from ocean conservation, to sustainable design and art.

It also consistently looks for opportunities to minimize waste, and pollution, and consider the environmental life cycle of its products, services and operations, while supporting Melbourne’s global climate leadership efforts. Implementing environmentally beneficial programs such as Returnr makes complete sense, and there will be many more great initiatives to come this year.”

Salvatore Malatesta, CEO of ST. ALi said: “The ST. ALi Group has chosen to embark on this journey with Returnr, launching at Mercedes me in the Rialto. Mercedes me customers are passionate and willing to adopt the change needed to establish a closed loop system, and the ST. ALi Group is committed to implementing 100% re-usables at Mercedes me.”

Jamie Forsyth, Director and Founder of Returnr said: “Returnr borrowing or pooling allows you to access custom-designed high-quality bowls & cups without cost, which can deliver not only a better user experience but convenience without trash.

For customers, it’s ‘free to use’, like using a shopping trolley, borrow by paying a $6 deposit which is fully refunded when returned,” he said.

From September 9 – 20, Mercedes me Store will also host to a unique, one-off installation from eco-champion Joost Bakker. Designed to reflect the manner in which plastic waste is impacting the natural environment, Joost will create a large scale ‘plastic footprint’ utilising 130 kgs of plastic waste collected across the city, including Melbourne Water catchments. The piece will be intertwined with natural tree branches to showcase the influence of an average Australian’s plastic waste on the environment, and the need for us all to do our part to help reduce our waste.

Speaking on the installation, Joost Bakker said: “The current almost daily discussion around ‘waste’ and how we deal with it I find incredibly exciting, and it’s fair to say it’s been a long struggle to capture people’s attention around this topic. Following a federal government commissioned study, it has been determined that each person in Australia generates a staggering 130 kgs of plastic per year, and only 12% is recycled. This is why I’m using exactly 130 kgs to suspend an organic installation, mimicking what we are doing, blending synthetic materials with our natural world.

What’s inspiring to know is that the volume is reducing, consumer awareness is driving change, schools are going zero waste and business leaders are demanding a change to a circular economy. I have never experienced this level of change or interest, and I hope this installation drives further debate and discussion.”

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