Your subscription entitles you to unlimited use of GO Box containers and public drop sites. The $18 subscription is good for one year and, if you sign up online, will auto-renew unless you cancel. If you signed up at a vendor, you’ll receive a reminder to renew a year after you first signed up.
The GO Box container is considered microwave-safe. That said, it is generally better to avoid microwaving food in any plastic container, just to be on the safe side. But if you’re comfortable microwaving food in plastic containers, then this will work just fine. The container is made of #5 plastic and is BPA-free!
Health Department rules prohibit food vendors from serving food in a customer’s personal container. However, GO Box has solved this problem by delivering professionally sanitized containers directly to the vendors.
You do not need to wash or rinse the container before returning it to the drop box, but please make sure it’s as free of food and liquid as possible. If you have the ability to easily give it a quick rinse, that’s great, but not necessary.!
While by no means perfect, plastic is lightweight, durable, and recyclable. GO Boxes need to be light so we can pick up and deliver them by bicycle. They need to be durable so we can wash and reuse them as many times as possible. And they need to be a size and shape that vendors are familiar with serving their food in. Since another material that fulfills all these criteria isn’t available at this time, we decided to go with a plastic container. We make sure each container is recycled at the end of its life.
It does require water and energy to wash GO Boxes. However, even with the energy and water needed to wash, the overall environmental impact is substantially less than single-use, throw-away containers.
To read more about how reusables use far less energy and resources over its lifetime than disposables, see this page published by the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program.
According to the manufacturer, each container can be reused up to 500 times. We have no way of verifying this, although we would not be surprised if this represents an overestimate. Nonetheless, we know that even 1 GO Box used only 40 times creates 10 times LESS greenhouse gasses than 40 compostable containers.