‘If Berlin has a reusable system, Silicon Valley should have one too!’

paul GO Cups

by Guest Blogger Ana Galan

One person creates 23 lbs of waste in one year by consuming coffee or tea in a disposable cup every day.

In the United States, about 200 miliion cups of coffee are used per day. Much of this coffee is being served in a disposable cup. Can you imagine the amount of waste that these take away coffees are generating?

After living in Berlin, Germany and in Canada, one of the first things I wondered when I moved to Palo Alto was, ‘Why aren’t people bringing their own coffee mugs? Why hasn’t anyone thought about a solution to solve this disposable waste problem?’

In fact, people have thought about addressing this problem. There is Just Swap, a startup in Berlin. They are trying to reduce disposable cup waste by providing a reusable cup that you can get by paying a deposit of a few Euros with your coffee. The cup is available in different cafes and can also be returned in these cafes. That makes it easy to return the cup and receive the deposit back.

So, I thought, if Berlin has a reusable system, Silicon Valley should have one too! That is how I found GO Box. While Just Swap focuses on the disposable cups problem and developed a solution to it, GO Box is working on solving the entire take away problem: they are providing reusable to-go food containers and just launched reusable to-go cups in downtown Palo Alto. Whenever you take your food or drink away, you are receiving it in a container that can be reused.

If you generate 23 lbs of waste a year by using disposable cups for your daily coffee, can you imagine how much waste you produce if you order a meal per day using a food delivery company? Taking into consideration that food delivery is a fast-growing market, the amount of waste it produces is a fast-growing problem. The GO Box solution might help us move a step closer to a conscious and sustainable way of eating and consuming.