Spork Bytes and GO Box Team Up to Tackle Waste

You already know that we do things a little differently at Spork Bytes, and when it comes to offering the most modern environmentally sustainable practices, our services are no exception. As of this year, we are proud to announce our partnership with GO Box, a zero waste food storage system that wants to eliminate single-use trash by providing customers with reusable containers for takeout meals.

Introducing GO Box

Since 2011, GO Box has been working with local restaurants and food carts to mitigate the quantity of disposable to-go containers that eventually end up in landfills. They partner with over 100 restaurants throughout the city. With their app, customers can see which nearby venues use their containers and can request that their order be placed in a reusable box.

The containers are lightweight, leak-free, and made of a BPA-free durable plastic that can easily be reused. It’s the same plastic used in materials like yogurt containers and baby bottles. They’re checked out to participant subscribers when they get their meal - similarly to how one would check out a library book. Then, users drop off their used containers at a dropoff point (available on the app) where users just scan a barcode to return their bowls, cups, and plates for sanitizing. At the end of their useful life (about 1000 uses), the containers are recycled.

Hands holding Go Box reusable box in office catering food delivery

Customer subscriptions range from $21.95 to $40 annually, with each level allowing an unlimited number of borrows and returns per year and return to any drop site. Vendors are charged based on the number of containers stocked at their business and pay only for what they use.

GO Box has also partnered up with Spork Bytes to provide zero-waste catered meals to corporate offices across Portland. We will ensure our restaurant partners are stocked with GO Boxes, ready to be filled with delicious food, and delivered to your office. With Spork Bytes, we can help facilitate the implementation of a private GO Box drop-box within your own office! When the meal is complete, simply drop the dirty containers in the dropbox, and we will come by shortly to collect them and transport them back to GO Box, where they will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. What’s great about using GO Box with Spork Bytes is that we can accommodate GO Box orders at any of our restaurant partners, even if they currently do not participate in the program directly. Better yet, we will work the cost into your invoice, so there’s no need to worry about separate payments!

While some may have believed that single-use plastics or compostables are better than reusable options when it comes to preventing disease, the strict sanitization protocols used by GO Box have been approved by both the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Multnomah Health Authority. GO Box has saved over 200,000 containers from landfills already!

The pandemic has made food delivery and curbside pickup indispensable options for consumers who don’t have time or the ability to cook from home. Here at Spork Bytes, we were amazed to discover that Americans throw away 120 billion disposable cups per year. Let’s translate that into a number that’s easier to digest - that’s 363 cups per person per year, likely each consumer’s daily coffee habit. Add in a lid, a java jacket, a stirrer, some sugar or creamer packets, and you’ve got a ton of waste. Millions of tons, in fact. 

While some of these items may be labeled as biodegradable, sadly, many times they don’t decompose unless processed at industrial-strength trash facilities. Meaning the compostable soup container you threw in your trash can at lunch probably ended up in the same landfill as the Styrofoam cups. Part of the problem is that consumers often throw in non-compostable lookalike items into the bins, which means it needs to get removed before the item is properly disposed of. This drives up operating costs, which makes the solution less beneficial. 

Recycling hasn’t proven to be the answer either. Americans generate 234 pounds of plastic waste each year, but no more than 9 percent of it actually gets recycled. 12% gets incinerated, which results in toxic fumes.

Person washing Go Boxes sanitary clean disinfected

When we started Spork Bytes, we wanted to be part of the solution - not add to the problem!  We recognized that your typical buffet and cafeteria-style lunchroom options generated a huge ton of unused food and resources.  Did you know that up to 40% of the food in the United States is wasted?

Because of this, our Account Managers are also professional menu curators, who carefully put together every order based on the size of your party. Not only does this avoid excessive food waste, but it also saves you money! We don’t waste our leftovers; we redistribute them to schools, individuals and families through our partnerships with Urban Gleaners and CityTeam Portland.

Go Box reusable boxes delivered to an office on a table ready to eat

Our company values sustainability, and we hand select every one of our partners with care, from our restaurants to our vendors to our suppliers. You can feel confident that when you place a Spork Bytes order for your next office meeting or team event, the restaurant that you choose is a partner we have a trusted relationship with and who shares in our commitment to combating climate change by eliminating unnecessary waste. 

Whether you choose delicious Hawaiian delights from Ate-oh-Ate or pick up signature healthy and tasty salads from Crisp Salads, opt to have your orders placed in GO Box containers, and enjoy a meal just a bit more knowing that your packaging won’t end up in the landfill. Just hold onto your container and bring it back to a nearby GO Box dropoff - they’re located all over the city! Better yet, urge your company to opt for sustainable catering services through Spork Bytes, where the entire office can optimize dining services with GO Box and enjoy a variety of local restaurants, without the inconvenience of leaving the office!  

As a community, it’s time to all come together and fight for the health and safety of our planet. Contact us today to talk to one of our food concierges to select the best option for your team.

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