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I am passionate about:
Health for the planet and the people - This means to keep our earth and body clean from waste, chemicals and other contaminants. I envision a world that is green and bright for future generations to enjoy the beauty we can today!
A little known fact about me is:
I have a Hatha Yoga teacher certificate and tech classes in our garden.
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?
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.