[As Seen on KCRW] ChopValue gives single-use utensils a second life
Over 35,000 chopsticks are collected weekly from Vancouver businesses and brought to a microfactory where they are sorted and recycled.
More than a third of the world's population uses chopsticks on a daily basis. Like other single-use products such as straws, chopstick waste is an environmental concern. Roughly 80 billion wooden chopsticks find their way to landfills annually. Felix Böck had an idea for using the discarded utensils. That idea became a company — ChopValue.
Based in Vancouver, ChopValue works with restaurants to collect used chopsticks to give them a second life. The company reclaims 35,000 chopsticks from more than 500 businesses every week. At the microfactory, they are sorted in the same direction, put in a resin bath, dried, and hot-pressed together to form a basic, modular tile. That material is used to make everything from coasters to desks.
Coasters and charcuterie boards made with reclaimed chopsticks are two of ChopValue’s biggest sellers. Photo courtesy of ChopValue.
Felix Böck wanted to create a viable circle economy. His company ChopValue works with restaurants to reclaim single-use chopsticks, giving them a second life as daily household items. Photo courtesy of ChopValue.
Most chopsticks are made of bamboo and ChopValue is compressing the wood to make a wide-range of home decor. Photo courtesy of ChopValue.