Don’t you love eating at food trucks? All over the country, foodie entrepreneurs are launching mobile restaurants that can set up in different neighborhoods throughout the week. Here in Atlanta, the food truck scene is exploding, and I love when I get the chance to hit a local food truck park for lunch.
The trouble with food trucks is that because they don’t have a full kitchen – meaning a space to wash dishes – they rely completely on disposable plates, utensils, cups, and napkins. When you look at the food truck movement as a whole, that’s millions of pounds of waste each year. In Portland, Oregon alone, where they have a thriving food truck scene, diners toss around 60,000 pounds of waste every single month.
Compostable dishware isn’t much of a help here. Even if your city offers municipal composting, there’s a slim chance that there are compost collection containers at food truck parks, especially one-off events like festivals. All of that compostable dishware instead goes to landfills, where the organic matter breaks down to produce methane, a greenhouse gas more powerful than CO2.
Sounds pretty grim, but there’s one company that’s looking to break that waste cycle: GO Box.
GO Box creates inexpensive reusable containers that diners can return to drop locations where the company gets them professionally washed and ready for reuse! GO Box is an opt-in program. It costs $12 per year for diners to participate, and when you return your GO Box, you get a token that you can use to get the next one for free.
The company launched in Portland last summer and already has more than 1,000 subscribers! The company says that equates to diverting around 10,000 containers from the landfill. Not too shabby!
Does your city have a food truck scene? What kinds of containers are you seeing when you place your order? I’d love to hear how other towns are handling food truck waste!