Reusable To-Go Container Service Aims to Do Away with Throw Away Containers in Downtown Portland
Portland, OR – GO Box, a Portland-based service providing reusable containers to people receiving to-go food in Downtown Portland, has reached its three-year anniversary and is simultaneously celebrating its achievement of eliminating the use of over 50,000 disposable to-go food containers.
GO Box is the first company of its kind anywhere in the United States that aims to do away with the problem of single-use, disposable to-go food containers by offering a convenient system providing durable take out containers. There are nearly 2,000 subscribers and 75 food vendors participating in downtown Portland.
To coincide with its anniversary, GO Box is also announcing the launch of a new, updated website making it easier for customers to find their favorite food vendors and drop sites for their boxes.
“As of this month, GO Box-ers have eliminated the use of over 50,000 disposable take out containers!” said Laura Weiss, GO Box owner and founder. “If you stacked 50,000 GO Boxes one on top of the other they would reach 11,458 ft — higher than the height of Mt Hood!”
Customers can sign up on the new website, or at any participating vendor where they receive their first meal in a GO Box. After their meal, customers return their used container to a drop site and receive a token they use to exchange for another meal in a GO Box repeating the process.
All boxes are picked up by GO Box staff and brought to a commercial kitchen for cleaning and then redistributed to food carts and other food vendors. In order to remain true to its low-impact mission, all pickups and deliveries are done by bicycle.
Weiss recognized a need for this type of service after learning that you could not bring your own container to receive to-go food from food carts due to health regulations. It is estimated that over 60,000 disposable containers are used by the downtown Portland food carts each month.
Since its inception, GO Box has gone on to receive national recognition and in 2012 received the Award for Best Sustainable Product or Service from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. In addition, Weiss has licensed out the GO Box concept to Sacramento, and San Francisco has plans to launch this year.
GO Box also offers companies and buildings a way to get involved by becoming a Corporate Partner. The Corporate Program allows companies to host a private drop box exclusively for the use of their employees and/or tenants. There are currently 30 Corporate Partners participating in downtown Portland.