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GO Box - The service for reusable and returnable take away

We are radically improving the take-out experience - from wasteful disposables to a sustainable reusable system.

Photo of Gesina
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Background

Take-out food containers are cheap and convenient. It has become a habit to order to-go and enjoy coffee as well as food in the park, the office or elsewhere. The food delivery market is booming and so is the to-go packaging waste related to it. In the San Francisco Bay Area of California, 48% of street litter is related to food packaging waste. Another study found that an average American office worker uses two to-go cups per working day. GO Box is here to address this issue.

GO Box is an innovative service providing reusable takeout containers and cups to food vendors and their customers. With conveniently located drop sites and a mobile app, GO Box is a fast and easy alternative for busy people who love the convenience of takeout but hate the waste.


Our Differentiation

We tackle the 3 R’s with ease.

Reduce - single use packaging

Reuse - our containers instead of disposing them

Recycle - once they’ve reached the end of their 300+ usage life.

Not just reusable products but a system that goes with it. Our App assures that item loss is low and now people don’t have to remember to bring their own containers and wash them.


Our Reusable Containers

  • Can be used 300+ times then recycled
  • BPA Free
  • Industrial dishwasher safe
  • Sturdy material that is more leak/spill resistant than its single use counterparts


The Reuse Problem

The consumer challenge with reuse is twofold. It is easy to forget to bring your own container, and vendors are prohibited from serving food in customers’ personal containers due to health code. Even people who are conscious of the environmental impact of their eating habits are forced to use single-use disposables due to the lack of alternatives. This is where GO Box comes in as the perfect solution for a sustainable to-go experience.


Our Solution

GO Box is the first and only reusable takeout container service offering customers a way to get their meal in an environmentally friendly, reusable alternative to the single-use disposable container. With a mission of "doing away with throw away," GO Box makes sustainable eating fast, easy, and convenient for people who eat on the go.

Our Vendors

We have more than 100 partner vendors in Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area. They offer Go Box to their customers because we make it easy for them to reduce waste and attract eco minded customers. Some vendors even offer incentives or discount the food when served in a GO Box because it saves them money on single use disposables. Thanks to vendors like Rotisserie Deli that provides 10% discount on GO Box meals in Downtown Oakland and City Hall Cafe in Palo Alto we can keep things easy and convenient for our members.

Vendor Density: In general, the more vendors the better because that makes it easier for consumers to learn about GO Box, have access to reusable boxes and experience the benefits. We have found that in downtown areas, at least 5-10 vendors are needed to get traction.

Price point for vendors: Currently there is no cost for the vendors in the Bay Area since we are still young and its more important to have vendors join easily. In Portland, the vendors pay a fee of 20ct per reusable Box. Even with this small fee, the vendors save with every reusable container compared to the disposable counterpart which costs anywhere between 25ct - $1.



Our Members

People can sign up for GO Box for $24 per year for unlimited use. They are then able to get their meal in a reusable, durable takeout container and return it to a nearby drop site when they’re finished. At the drop site, customers use our mobile app to scan in their GO Box. 

Now they are ready for their next GO Box experience.

Currently, users can only take one box out at a time. The reason is to keep loss rates low. You would be surprised that even one box can go missing, or people forget to return their box in time. We have received individual requests to take out several boxes at a time for a team meeting or other events. Our system allows us to extend the number of possible boxes and we do it on a case by case basis for responsible individuals. In general, this hasn't been a big issue so far. Rather do users appreciate the control mechanism so that they keep track of their reusable boxes.

Our Mobile App

We have researched the reusable landscape extensively. What we have found is that items easily go missing if there is no accountability system like tokens, deposit or a mobile App which we consider the most convenient solution overall. As mentioned above, our App allows only one item to be used at a time to ensure it is returned. That is why we have only lost a couple of boxes in the past. In the rare case of a lost box, we would charge a small fee equivalent to the value of the box and reset the user account to be able to use the next GO Box.

GO Box works only with our mobile App. While the program has originally started with tokens, there were a few issues related to this analogue system:
1) No way to digitally track the number of boxes used at individual vendors (Imagine you have to call every vendor to ask for the number of boxes used per day) to supply the equivalent number.
2) The boxes could only be returned when a person was physically present to also hand out a token. This takes resources and reduces convenience since the user wants to be able to return the boxes at a time of their choice.
3) Overall data is not available to see the success of the system.

That is why a smartphone and the App are requirements to join GO Box.  


Operations
We organize pickup and delivery of our boxes by partnering with workforce development organizations and local non-profits. That way we create local jobs and provide income for those in need. Our dropsites are usually served weekly. We ask our customers to toss any leftover food before returning the boxes and so far we haven't had any issues with smell so far. Our drop sites are outfitted with a reusable linen that keeps the smell inside. The frequency of pick-up is higher than once a week only when our system shows extensive usage. Because of our mobile App, we are always able to see usage and returns in every drop site. This makes it very convenient for us to organize operations

What We Do

We pick up the used containers, have them washed in a commercial kitchen, and return them clean to vendors. We manage the full cycle of implementing a reusable system from marketing, education, operations and support. 

Sustainability and social responsibility have been central to both our mission and how we do business. We are partnering with non-profits such as Saint Anthony’s Soup Kitchen to wash the containers after-hours when their commercial dishwashing equipment sits idle. To extend our positive impact on the community, we are cooperating with local workforce development organizations like the Palo Alto Downtown Streets Team. By optimizing the use of existing resources within the community, we keep money in the local economy, create new job opportunities and implement a new green service for our cities!

Since launching, GO Box Portland and GO Box San Francisco Bay Area have attracted over 3,500 subscribers, who have prevented the use of more than 110,000 disposable containers to date.

Our Corporate Program

The corporate program helps building owners and companies reduce waste in their offices or buildings and makes returns more convenient for our customers. We place a drop site in a multi-tenant building that we service once or twice a week depending on demand. That way, employees in the building can return their GO Box containers without having to walk to a drop site a few blocks away. For the pickup, we charge a monthly fee to the property management firm or the offices in the building. The Corporate Program is the largest revenue stream for GO Box Portland and we would like to expand this to the SF Bay Area too.


Scale

GO Box was born as an idea for downtown areas that can be replicated in multiple cities as a franchise model. Unfortunately, not everybody is willing to change behaviour for the greener because of barriers of convenience, costs or just lack of interest. That being said, we see that about 20-40% of the potential customers eg. all employees working for one of our corporate clients really make the change as long as the system is voluntary. Organic growth can only get reuse so far. We anticipate regulations to evolve around disposable items that will hopefully move more people into reuse. We also hope for reusable competition to arise to help the economy become more circular. 


Who we are

We are GO Box SF Bay

Paul Liotsakis was inspired to take action and bring GO Box to the Bay Area after years of feeling uncomfortable with waste generated from otherwise delicious take-out meals. Paul’s background includes leadership roles in renewable energy, urban gardening and the organic food industry. Paul holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio School of Management.


Gesina Beckert earned a BA in International Business and started her career as a product manager for solar energy products at Bosch. When she was transferred from her home country Germany to Silicon Valley to drive a project around energy efficiency, she was struck by the amount of takeout waste in the US. That is why she joined GO Box mission to revolutionize the wasteful packaging of take-out.


Vanessa Pan has experience in business development, sales operations and hospitality from her years of working in the service, global education and tech industry. She specializes in communication and is passionate about making waves and bringing on positive change.


And here is the founder of GO Box Portland Laura Weiss.

Laura has followed her passion for environmental sustainability for her 30 years of professional experience. Before creating and founding GO Box, she was the first Regional Sustainability Manager for ARAMARK’s Higher Education line of business. 

She earned an MBA in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. She also holds a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University, Cook College.




Idea Title

Ditch Disposables? Join GO Box and Do Away with Throw Away TM

Company / Organization Name

GO Box SF Bay

Website

https://www.goboxsfbay.com

Where are you / your team located?

San Francisco Bay Area, CA USA

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

We redesign the system of to go waste by preventing single use disposables with an App based service. Our customers use the service because of its convenience and innovation for reuse. Currently, we offer a service with reusable cups, lids and containers for any kind of take-out food. In the future, we would like to extend our portfolio to utensils, ice cream containers, juice and smoothie cups. We’d also like to partner with large chains like Starbucks and Whole Foods.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Our idea applies to Use Case 3: Coffee shops and restaurants no longer need to use disposable to-go cups (like Anne’s). They can benefit from our platform and even build stronger customer relationships through our App. They also save money for every reusable container used. With GO Box, busy professionals (like Lucas) can use sustainable to-go products without the inconvenience of bringing and washing their own.

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

We are currently operating in the SF Bay Area: Palo Alto, Oakland and one neighborhood in SF. We are licensing the model from GO Box Portland. In the future, we envision growing our product line and services and extending to more city downtowns.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

We’ll be introduced to new marketplaces through strategic partnerships with cities and through sales and marketing efforts that attract corporations, property management firms, cities, schools and food delivery companies. Our obstacles include slow adoption from vendors and users, marketing visibility, public campaigns and cost of operations. We plan to overcome these by creating greater value through better marketing, technology and incentives for both vendors and users.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Full-scale roll-out: You have developed a pilot, tested, and analyzed the impact of that pilot as it pertains to the problem scope. You are ready to expand the pilot significantly and begin to scale.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

If we made it as a Top Idea we would: - Launch in downtown San Francisco, grow to 1,000 users and 20 corporate partners within a year - Improve the user App experience with additional features - Leverage connections through accelerator to scale further and refine business model considering regulations with expert advice - Enhance marketing, research and development by engaging in incentive tests with users and vendors

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Laura Weiss founded GO Box Portland in 2011 because she was tired of all the to-go waste piling up in downtown Portland. Portland has a thriving food cart culture where reusables are not an option. Paul Liotsakis then licensed GO Box to take it to the SF Bay Area. I, Gesina joined GO Box in 2017 to run operations and grow GO Box further.

Tell us about your work experience

Inspired by sharing economy startups that disrupted other established business models, I started imagining the world without the to-go waste. I believe good tech can make this work!

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

GO Box SF Bay is a Sole Proprietorship

48 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Gesina 

As Refinement Phase quickly comes to a close in less than 8 hours, I want to remind you that the following must be submitted by tonight, August 31st at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

1. Please submit the Refinement Questions Form online that was sent again via email yesterday evening! This is mandatory for Top Ideas consideration, so this should be your first priority in the final stretch.

2. A secondary priority, which is optional, is to update your Refinement Phase post. I see you've already significantly updated your concept on the platform.. But please share any additional information, photos, and documentation of your progress throughout this Phase!

Looking forward to reviewing and celebrating the amazing work you've achieved this Refinement Phase!

Photo of Adina
Team

Hi Gesina,

I love the idea behind GO Box! My team, Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN)  submitted a very similar proposal, From Campus to Community: Systems for Reusable To-Go Coffee Cups , which provides reusable coffee mugs on college and university campuses.

Given the similarity of our projects, we would love to learn from your experience! Would you be able to answer a few questions, based off some of our concerns for our own project's design?

- Do users of the program have the option to have multiple to-go boxes in their possession at once? For example, if I wanted to grab meals to-go for myself and a few friends, would I need to register for additional accounts? If so, is there a limit on the number of boxes that an individual can have in their possession at a given time?

-Have you had any problems with containers going missing or being damaged or stolen? If so, how do you deal with this?

- Given dirty to-go containers' tendency to grow mold and emit unpleasant smells, have you established a protocol for how frequently containers need to be picked up? Under the section on the Corporate Program, you describe servicing the collection stations "once or twice a week." Have there been any issues with week-old food in those locations?

-Are individuals without smartphones eligible to participate in your program?

Let me know if you have any questions for us, or think it would be helpful to bounce more ideas off each other!

Thanks,
Adina

Photo of Gesina
Team

Hi Adina,

thank you for your comments. It is great to see that you are working on a similar solution. The more projects and businesses evolve around reuse, the more impact can we create. I am copying your question in here to facilitate communication:

- Do users of the program have the option to have multiple to-go boxes in their possession at once? For example, if I wanted to grab meals to-go for myself and a few friends, would I need to register for additional accounts? If so, is there a limit on the number of boxes that an individual can have in their possession at a given time?

--> Currently, users can only take one box out at a time. The reason being is to keep loss rates low. You would be surprised that even one box can go missing, or people forget to return their box in time. We have received individual requests to take out several boxes at a time for a team meeting or other events. Our system allows us to extend the number of possible boxes and we do it on a case by case basis for responsible individuals. In general, this hasn't been a big issue so far. Rather do users appreciate the control mechanism so that they keep track of their reusable boxes.

-Have you had any problems with containers going missing or being damaged or stolen? If so, how do you deal with this?

--> We have researched the reusable landscape extensively. What we have found is that items easily go missing if there is no accountability system like tokens, deposit or a mobile App which we consider the most convenient solution overall. As mentioned above, our App allows only one item to be used at a time to ensure it is returned. That is why we have only lost a couple of boxes in the past. In the rare case of a lost box, we would charge a small fee equivalent to the value of the box and reset the user account to be able to use the next GO Box.

- Given dirty to-go containers' tendency to grow mold and emit unpleasant smells, have you established a protocol for how frequently containers need to be picked up? Under the section on the Corporate Program, you describe servicing the collection stations "once or twice a week." Have there been any issues with week-old food in those locations?

--> We haven't had any issues with a smell so far. Our drop sites are outfitted with a reusable linen that keeps the smell inside. The frequency of pick-up is higher than once a week only when our system shows extensive usage. Because of our mobile App, we are always able to see usage and returns in every drop site which makes it very convenient for us to organize pick ups and returns.

-Are individuals without smartphones eligible to participate in your program?

--> No, GO Box works only with our mobile App. The program has originally started with tokens. There were a few issues related to this analog system:
1) No way to digitally track the number of boxes used at individual vendors (Imagine you have to call every vendor to ask for the number of boxes used per day) to supply the equivalent number.
2) The boxes could only be returned when a person was physically present to also hand out a token. This takes resources and reduces convenience since the user wants to be able to return the boxes at a time of their choice.
3) Overall data is not available to see the success of the system.

How do you think you can address the issues of loss and data without a system in place to track used items? How important are these two factors for you?

Photo of Adina
Team

Thank you Gesina for your thoughtful reply! GO Box - The service for reusable and returnable take away has been very helpful as an existing model that we can learn from. (In particular, it's encouraging to know that food smell has not been an issue.)

I agree it is very important to track the used items, and I think these factors are especially essential for a large-scale program.

Photo of Louise Sarah Clifford
Team

Love this idea. With eating out becoming more popular for those with busy lifestyles, so much waste packaging is being disposed of. Have you guys considered the possibility of a reward system for those using the scheme? Maybe a discount on their third or fourth purchase when using the app and product? Kind of like a Starbucks loyalty card. This could really encourage people to get involved with GoBox.

One thing I would love to see is how this can be incorporated with home delivery take away food. Could something be done with this when ordering food online to cut down the amount of packaging the food delivery companies send you? When I order food, it comes in a paper bag, a plastic bag and another box, such a waste.

Keep up the great work. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Photo of Gesina
Team

Hi Louise, thanks for your feedback.
We are constantly thinking about incentives for reuse with GO Box. Some of our vendors give a discount if people use GO Box eg. 50ct discount on a salad, 10% off the whole price, 25ct discount on a coffee in a GO Cup. To stimulate repeat usage, a reward system would be a great idea.

Thanks for bringing up the very important point of food delivery. We would love to partner with delivery companies. Especially here in the Bay Area there is a huge and growing trend of food delivery. We have already engaged with a few players in that field but haven't figured out a feasible way to work together so far. There are technical issues that are resource intensive that need to be solved to further continue the conversation. If we win this challenge, we will work on strategies to cooperate with delivery companies.

Photo of Louise Sarah Clifford
Team

Hi Gesina,

That sounds fantastic that you are trying to partner with delivery companies. If you are looking to brainstorm idea on how to bring an end to waste packaging for food delivery, I would be happy to help.

Best of luck with your progression in the challenge.

Louise.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Gesina!

There are 7 days left in the refinement phase.

If there is key information in the comments on your idea submission, I recommend that you move them to the main body of your idea submission before the cut-off time.

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Photo of Gesina
Team

Hi Kate,
thank you! I moved some of the relevant input into the main body!
Look forward to see what happens after submittal :)

Photo of Marcus Rosenthal
Team

Great idea. Have you considered having restaurants also use this for providing 'doggy bags'? What are your greatest challenges for customer adoption, both restaurants and consumers?

Photo of Gesina
Team

Hi Marcus,
thank you!

We are definitely interested in extending our portfolio of reusable products further. By "doggy bags" do you mean the plastic bags to transport the to-go containers? If so, more important than "doggy bags" are probably utensils, straws and other small sachets that often come with the food. They are not recyclable compared to most of the bags.

The main challenges are
- lack of awareness and education that disposable to-go waste is a problem.
Many people don't know that their food containers and cups are neither compostable nor recyclable.

- limited willingness to change
For consumers: Disposables are free, easy to throw away and have become a part of the busy professional lifestyle. We need to create the system in a way that there is as little effort necessary as possible to use reusables - easy App, drop sites in strategic locations, incentives etc. . That means providing conveniently located drop sites and improving the user experience.
For restaurants: The process of food preparation is optimized on space, time and costs. Adding another container option adds another layer of complexity and requires space. The turnover of kitchen staff is generally pretty high and training a new hire on disposable and reusable boxes costs money - even though every vendor saves on disposables. To overcome this challenge the volume for reusable GO Boxes need to increase quickly so that it becomes integrated into the normal process to select disposable or reusable containers. Ideally, there is only a reusable option!

- expectation of extra value on top of waste reduction
My customer research shows that at least in the SF Bay Area consumers are expecting to save money or to receive an extra benefit when doing an extra step for sustainability.

Hope that answers your question! ~Gesina

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

I think he means the British meaning of "doggy bags" - leftover food from a meal that you take home with you and eat it later or cold the next day or traditionally give to your dog.

Photo of Marcus Rosenthal
Team

That is correct. I mean leftover containers. I don't see why the Go Boxes couldn't be used for this as well.

Also, how do you wash them? would a customized automated industrial dishwasher help it scale?

Photo of Gesina
Team

Thanks for your comments, Marcus.

One of our core values is the collaboration and leverage of local and regional resources. We currently partner with workforce development organizations and restaurants that are already equipped with commercial dishwashers. When those machines are idle, we can use them to clean and sanitize our boxes. This way, we are not only supporting local businesses but also optimize the usage of existing machines. That being said, if we were to scale significantly in the future, we might have to rethink that approach at some point. We are open to thinking about alternative approaches but want to make sure to keep engaged with local organizations and create value even beyond waste reduction.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Gesina!

Welcome to refinement!

Is there a certain density of vendors needed for go box?

What is the price point and cost for vendors using the scheme, and how does that compare to conventional packaging?

What are the enablers to allow this solution to reach a larger scale of say 1 million users?

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me by tagging me here (@ followed by my name) or send me an email - krushton@ideo.com

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Have you seen AGREENOZZI in the refinement phase? There are some similarities and differences between your ideas.

Photo of Gesina
Team

Hi @Kate Rushton,
thanks - great to make it into the next round!

Here is our feedback to your questions:
Vendor Density: In general, the more vendors the better because that makes it easier for consumers to learn about GO Box, have access to reusable boxes and experience the benefits. We have found that in downtown areas, at least 5-10 vendors are needed to get traction.

Price point for vendors: Currently there is no cost for the vendors in the Bay Area since we are still young and its more important to have vendors join easily. In Portland, the vendors pay a fee of 20ct per reusable Box. Even with this small fee, the vendors save with every reusable container compared to the disposable counterpart which costs anywhere between 25ct - $1.

Scale: GO Box was born as an idea for downtown areas that can be replicated in multiple cities as a franchise model. Not everybody is willing to change behaviour for a greener because of barriers of convenience, costs or just lack of interest. That being said, we see that about 20-40% of the potential customers really make the change if the system is voluntary. Organic growth can only get reuse so far. We anticipate regulations to evolve around disposable items that will hopefully move more people into reuse. We also hope for reusable competition to arise to help the economy become more circular.

We would love to see other individuals being interested in taking the GO Box idea to more cities so that we can grow together nationally. In order to grow to more than one million users in a big city like SF we would have to make investments into infrastructure - probably own our own washing facilities, manage our own fleet, cooperate with delivery companies - and adapt our business model. We are open to explore such ideas with you and the team at Open IDEO and have some thoughts about what could work.

GO Box is really excited to move forward with this challenge since we see a lot of potential to grow. :)

Photo of Leila Tjiang
Team

When I first approached GO Box at the Zero Waste Youth Convergence in San Francisco, I immediately realised the potential for a reusable container system at my high school. Since then, my school’s Zero Waste Initiative and I have been working with Gesina to implement GO Box’s program at our school. As our campus is adjacent to a mall with half a dozen food vendors, we observed that 50% of students ate at the mall 1 to 2 times a week, and nearly 13% ate there every school day. Thus, we found our recycling, compost, and landfill bins packed with single use food packaging. GO Box seemed like an obvious solution to our problem. Gesina is always extremely helpful and enthusiastic to work with our school towards our shared goal of zero waste; we could not have wished for a better solution to our single use disposable problem. Every day we look forward working with GO Box to implement environmentally sustainable solutions in our community and educate the next generation of conservationists, activists, and leaders. Thank you for helping to preserve this great planet we live on, and we can’t wait to see the great future that lies ahead for GO Box!

Photo of Gesina
Team

Thank you, Leila! Your engagement and motivation to implement GO Box at PALY are outstanding. I hope we can implement our reusable system soon so that PALY students have access to an easy alternative to single-use food and drink packaging!

Photo of Michelle
Team

Love this! Garbage bins in high pedestrian traffic areas are full of one-time use only containers. Using GoBox cuts down on landfill waste, overfilled garbage bins on city streets and is convenient. Can large companies gift their employees GoBox subscriptions as part of their employment package?

Photo of Tom
Team

I like that they efficiently utilize otherwise idle equipment and engage members of the "Streets Team" who have available time to improve the environment by managing go-boxes that displace the litter team members otherwise have to manage.

Photo of Marissa Vettoretti
Team

My university uses these boxes for its food services on campus (I attend Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario). The way it works is a student buys an ecocontainer pass for $5 (it's a card the size of a credit card) and when you order food on campus you give the worker your pass and in return you get a reusable container. When you're finished eating you bring it back to the food service establishment and you get your card back to be able to use it again.

I think this idea is great and it looks like it's been executed very well. Expanding into schools and other establishments with cafeterias is definitely the way to go since when you buy from food services in these areas you're often staying in the same place where you bought the food (making it easier for people to return the containers). I would consider using a card over an app if you expand into these areas since it's sometimes difficult to convince students to download an app because we have so many on our phones these days (although I do see why you chose to use an app and I think it's perfect for how the business is operating now). Great idea!

Photo of Keith Riggs
Team

Yes, Yes, and now let's scale it and spread the word!

How do you see it working in India or Indonesia, South Africa? Will you be contributing an expanded line? Thanks for sharing your wonderful service.

Photo of Gesina
Team

HI Keith,
thank you! I think it would be very important to work with cities in these countries on a solution that fits their needs best. On a holistic level, GO Box can be introduced to any market place that has busy downtown areas with several restaurants and offices. I could imagine that it could be a service targeted at tourists in the beginning who visit these countries and don't want to add to the plastic problem these countries already have due to less waste management infrastructure. In your vacation, you might also be more open to paying for a service that has a positive local impact.
For now, we are focusing on our close communities. The goal is however to reach as many to-go eaters, restaurants and corporations as possible.
~Gesina

Photo of Troy Gardner
Team

might look at francising the idea, so that a single website and shared 'group buys' of the packaging might work.

maybe some coupon codes in the box for next order.

Photo of Gesina
Team

Thank you, Troy!
GO Box is currently run as a license model. Laura, the founder of GO Box Portland build the brand but would like to individuals in different areas to grow the company to as many places as possible.

Vouchers or coupons are a great way to incentivize reusable behavior. Ideally, we could also improve our GO Box App to incorporate features like this!

Photo of David Carnahan
Team

I am a regular GO Box user and can attest to the convenience and high quality of the product as well as outstanding customer support. Gesina brings her warm smile and energy to my workplace, helping share GO Box with my colleagues. Paul Liotsakis has helped share GO Box with our local community and Vanessa Pan helped answer my questions when I started using GO Box many, many salads ago. With GO Box, I have the convenience of food on the run without the waste typically generated with takeout and "doggy bags." GO Box is helping my organization lessen our environmental impact by reducing waste and reducing the need to recycle disposable containers.

Photo of Gesina
Team

Thank you so much, David!
We are motivated by this exact impact that we can have on organizations and individuals alike :)

Photo of Luca Janssens
Team

This idea is as simple as it is brilliant! It should be widespread (as in on a global scale). This especially works well for people who are open to improving the state of the environment and/or lessening their waste total, but are unsure on how to proceed.

For a minimal yearly sum, you can contribute to less waste, whilst enjoying your take-away food. I hope this get the attention it deserves!

Photo of Moritz
Team

A really holistic approach to solve all the one time use disposables madness, I hope you guys get the support to scale your solution and extend your portfolio so we don't need to burn & burry our disposables or far worse realize that we managed to create oceans full of plastic without any life left...Go Go Box Go! :)

Photo of Wicky Bisanz
Team

Its a great concept and if you guys can work out the story and brand, I think people will be very inspired to use GoBox all the time! So my only comment would be to fine tune the story and branding/design a bit! Thank you for working so hard on a better world and less waste!

Photo of Mira Wallace
Team

I love how you tackle the biggest challenge of living a better life: Our own comfort and convenience. Thanks for making it so easy to make an impact. I hope to see GO BOX way more frequently in the future!

Photo of Maxine Chapman
Team

Congratulations GoBox! We love you guys and the tangible change you're making! Looking forward to seeing you more in the Greater San Diego Area!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations on being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Gesina
Team

Wow! Thank you! We are grateful to be featured today and to be part of the challenge!

Photo of Chelsie Rose
Team

Fabulous idea! I'd love to see this spread like wildfire across the US.

Photo of Kirstin Clouser
Team

I love the initiative. Every city needs something like this, especially in our American take out culture. Can't wait to see it on the east coast.

Photo of Holly Benson
Team

What a cool idea! I've never heard of this before. Hopefully we'll get GoBox in Vancouver! (BC, Canada).

Photo of Gerd Florian Beckert
Team

Hey. That's a great and brave idea to reduce plastic waste. Do restaurants already have a QR Code for your app at theier windows? Or any paper advertisments for Go Box? Let's sproud your idea. Good luck!

Photo of Gesina
Team

Hi Gerd! Thanks for your feedback and questions.
GO Box members can use a vendor code or select the restaurant in the App when they want to use a reusable GO Vox. There are also flyers to inform customers about the program.
When members want to return their GO Box, they scan a QR code that is located on the drop site. The drop site has GO BOx information on it, but the visibility and marketing material can still be improved. We would use part of the funds to do so!

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Team

Love the idea and execution! Great way to reduce single-use disposables ending up in the landfill.
Totally support you expanding in Palo Alto! Keep up the good work.

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Team

As a former Portland,OR resident I wholly applaud this idea.

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Thank you, Ravish!

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Great! Please do stop by our proposal Smart labels for small plastic consumables 

Would love your feedback.

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Really liked the idea and great to see the impact at system level. Brilliant initiative!

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Team

Hi Gesina!

It is great to see you in the challenge.

When did you launch (It would be helpful to understand your growth)?

Do the vendors that opt into Go Box offer a combination of Go Boxes and another packaging solution? Is there a phased introduction of Go Box?

Would you be able to elaborate more on this - 'We plan to overcome these by creating greater value through better marketing, technology and incentives for both vendors and users' - in terms of the type of marketing, what technology you would invest in and the type of incentives that you might be thinking about.

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Hi Kate!
Thank you :) Yes, we are excited to join the challenge.

GO Box Portland launched in 2011. Paul launched GO Box SF Bay by the end of 2014 with some early adopters in SF and Oakland, Palo Alto followed in 2016.

Our vendors still offer disposable packaging as well. What we see is that the problem with disposables is being recognized but currently only the early adopters are opting into our system or bring their own reusable products. We have ideas to change that and extend our customer base with the funding we could receive through this challenge!

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This is a wonderful idea! A friend and I had a very similar model in mind and it's wonderful to see how far you'll have reached. All the best! Could your idea even be adapted for people who order food in? Also are there different-sized boxes for varying food quantities across establishments?

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Team

Hi Shruti! Thank you!
The system can also be used for ordering food in if the food establishment doesn't have reusable plates, utensils etc. available. This often applies to small restaurants or food trucks that don't have dishwashing facilities. In Portland a lot of the the food trucks are already using GO Box.
Yes, there are different sizes and forms e.g. Soup container. I can add a picture of the varieties for visualization.