BEST Award winner, 2012 – Sustainable Service
GO Box is a new, innovative service providing reusable to-go containers to Portland food carts and their customers. With GO Box, food cart customers can conveniently and safely get their meal in a reusable, durable container. GO Box retrieves, washes and returns the clean containers to food cart vendors — all by bicycle.
As a mission-driven company whose goal is “doing away with throw away,” GO Box offers a unique service for the flourishing food cart industry, and also serves as a model for other to-go food settings, both in Portland and across the country.
- Innovated the first and only service of its kind in Portland.
- Met a strongly voiced need from customers and food carts to avoid one-time use disposable containers. In a recent survey, food cart customers ranked getting rid of throw-away containers as one of the top improvements food carts could make.
- Downtown Portland food cart customers throw away roughly 60,000 to-go boxes every month – nearly 65,000 pounds of waste every year. Since July 2011, GO Box has prevented the use of more than 2,000 disposable containers.
- Offers food vendors an opportunity to save money, cut waste and attract eco-minded customers.
- All pickup and delivery is done by bicycle.
- Fosters local business partnerships – businesses that host drop-off sites, downtown restaurants that wash and sanitize the containers, and the food carts that provide them to customers.
- Expansion beyond food carts is in consideration for event venues, grocery stores and restaurants offering take-out, and festivals. Other cities have requested assistance in duplicating this offering.