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Simple(r) answer: Harder than oak, our durable engineered composite material uses a local resource that would’ve otherwise ended up in the landfill.Long(er) answer: Most disposable chopsticks are made from bamboo that is harvested, treated, dried and shaped in China. These chopsticks then get shipped approximately 8,000 kms to be used once. Our raw product is a highly densified composite material developed under high pressure and high temperature along with a water-based resin, giving a natural and under-utilized resource new life.
Bamboo chopsticks share many of the high-performing traits of virgin bamboo, and our manufacturing method ensures that our final products are durable and long-lasting. With our lean and efficient production processes, we can store over 300 kg of CO2 for a thirteen-foot table top (made using 240,000 chopsticks) that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere.
Serving Boards and Coasters
These items are not dishwasher, oven, or microwave safe. To clean, use a lightly damp cloth to wipe the surface or hand wash. Dry by placing the product vertically to ensure uniform drying on all sides. Do not soak in water.
Apply a coating of food safe mineral oil to the surface once every 3-4 weeks, or as needed, to prevent the bamboo from drying out. Apply the oil in the direction of the grain using a clean, dry cloth.
To remove odors, rub the product with salt and half of a lemon. Leave it on for 3 minutes, then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Use a dry towel to remove the extra moisture.
Store in a dry area away from extreme changes in temperature and humidity.
To keep your table in the best condition, please place it in the most consistent room temperature environment as possible to avoid rapid movement of your engineered wood-bamboo surface.
Spilled water should be wiped immediately. Always use coasters (brownie points for using ChopValue ones) when placing drinks on the table to protect the surface from rings, stains and swelling.
To clean, use a lightly damp cloth to wipe the surface. Never use cleaning products - some of the chemicals might get ugly for your natural finish. Got some stubborn stains? Add a few drops of lemon water to lukewarm water and wipe the area with a soft cloth.
Apply a coating of linseed seed or mineral oil to the surface once a year, or as needed, to prevent it from drying out. Rub the oil in the grain direction using a clean, dry cloth. Leave it on for 3 minutes, then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Use a dry towel to remove the extra moisture.
The dried and resin-coated chopsticks are highly densified under heat and pressure during the production process, which activates a crosslink reaction and strengthens the bond of each individual chopstick to form a new raw material.
We have researched a variety of bonding systems before resulting in using a non-toxic, automotive industry standard water-based acrylic resin, free of urea and formaldehyde. It’s our most eco-friendly alternative to the current resins used in the industry, to offer VOC-free manufactured and recyclable products.
A question we get all the time is: Are there enough chopsticks?
Yes - in fact, we are only scratching the surface of our supply even though we are collecting over 350,000 chopsticks a week from our restaurant partners in Metro Vancouver alone.
In return, the restaurant’s waste disposal costs are reduced, all while supporting an environmentally friendly cause.
Is this what people call two birds with one… chopstick?
Throughout the alignment and sorting process in our shaker table, anything that doesn’t belong is manually removed by hand.
We don’t use water or any type of chemicals in the process of sanitization - imagine tons of pressure, and heat that removes any trails of contamination or bacteria in our newly formed tiles. An energy efficient system to create a beautiful, new and uniform material.
We’re proud to say that we generate very little waste. Our manufacturing scraps are saved and used in other smaller products such as keychains and our signature Zero Waste table.
We are also a carbon negative company, because it takes minimal energy to create new products in relation to the energy used to produce the chopsticks itself.
In North America, over 95% of disposable chopsticks are made out of bamboo, with the remaining percentage being wooden. Both types are pressed in our microfactories, regardless of size or shape.
However, when it comes to environmental impact, we prefer bamboo in comparison to wood because of its rapid growth rate and therefore, more sustainable use of bamboo as renewable material in second life products.
All products are made in our microfactories, with locations currently in Vancouver and Montreal, and a third location in São Paulo, Brazil, opening next year.
ChopValue plans to expand with its developed turnkey microfactory concept on a global scale and will launch their franchise concept in 2020. The goal is to have a local microfactory that will service customers, wherever they are in the world, for a more efficient process while being a carbon negative company.
From an Emissions perspective:Composting will emit the embodied energy of manufacturing and transport as well as CO2 of the chopsticks back into the air. Given that bamboo is a fast growing grass, it is actually one of the best materials to use for carbon sequestration. But to sequester carbon we need to extend the life as long as possible.
From a Circular Economy perspective:Composting would still be the last resort of circular solutions. In general, recovery of energy or nutrients is the last cascade in the circular cycle. On the other hand we are taking the material to the highest and best cascade, where we increase the value of the material exponentially. Using recycled materials is just as good as creating products out of virgin materials, but with a better result for the environment.
We actually performed several life cycle assessments of different materials in the effort of replacing plastic bags during our collection program, but unfortunately the obvious choice - cotton bags - isn’t an obvious choice after all.
We would need to use them in our program for 34 months to offset the energy that was used to produce in order to make them equal the footprint of the plastic bags we have in current use.Unfortunately, to date, plastic bags are our option in our collection program, but a challenge we actively work on but would love your insights and help for improvement.