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Reusable food-to-go cartons pioneered in Portland

Vancouver’s street food scene is starting to really cook, as city council yesterday approved 60 more vendor locations over the next four years.

Portland, Oregon, offers another ingredient to add to the recipe: reusable containers for take-out food.

Eric Hess of the Sightline Institute in Seattle writes:

As if I needed another reason to salivate over Portland’s exploding food cart scene, the folks over at GO Box have come up with one: reusable to-go containers.

The idea is simple: Pay $8.50 once and get a token, which you take to a participating food cart. They’ll serve your meal in a reusable container, which you leave at the cart and get another token. Repeat.

I know a lot of residents living near food carts have complained about trash in the past (food carts usually rely on public trash receptacles), so not only does this idea prevent waste, but it can help stop litter, too.

The GO Box was invented by Laura Weiss, who has an MBA in sustainable business, according to a report in the Portland online newspaper Neighborhood Notes.

Weiss told their reporter:

“As long as you don’t lose your container or token, you’re in. There will be at least one drop box per pod where we have participating vendors. And the plan is to make the tokens from recycled yogurt containers.”

David Beers is editor of The Tyee.

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