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We're here to make a difference,
one chopstick at a time.

We believe we have a responsibility to inspire, set an example,
and educate that resource efficiency thinking should simply be the norm.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our Story


 
The concept came to Felix over a sushi dinner with his partner, where he shared his frustration about the amount of construction waste generated in the city: over 600,000 tonnes a year - an amount that wasn’t imaginable for the everyday consumer. There wasn’t enough interest for his project proposal to use material from demolition and construction sites in the wood industry. He had to find a better way to communicate, in an easily digestible format, what a devastating impact this waste has on the environment, regardless of who was listening.
 
His partner (and now our co-founder) looked down at the disposable chopsticks in her hands, and asked, “Why not start with something more tangible?”. Felix, who learned English from watching the TV show How I Met Your Mother, responded without hesitation: “Challenge accepted”.
 
What seemed ridiculous at the moment became viable as Felix began to work out the logistics with his wood science coop student, Hugh Grady (who became our Founding Partner). It made sense. So he set his mind on a new goal: recycle used chopsticks to show everyone the feasibility of creating a viable business model while utilizing neglected resources.

 
And that was the beginning of our crazy adventure.
 
With over 100,000 disposable chopsticks being thrown out daily in Metro Vancouver alone, Felix initiated a chopstick collection program by investing into cardboard bins and partnering with restaurants in Kitsilano. His background in wood engineering and research on bamboo composite materials created a strong foundation to accelerate the development of ChopValue’s initial products.
 
The result?
 
From restaurants to customers, people were supportive of our mission to extend the life of an everyday product that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.
 
Today, we manufacture a wide-range of products. Our offerings include sustainable home décor to zero waste furniture for everyday customers, and we also provide eco-friendly custom solutions for our closed-loop partners, such as businesses and real estate developers.

Our Story


 
The concept came to Felix over a sushi dinner with his partner, where he shared his frustration about the amount of construction waste generated in the city: over 600,000 tonnes a year - an amount that wasn’t imaginable for the everyday consumer. There wasn’t enough interest for his project proposal to use material from demolition and construction sites in the wood industry. He had to find a better way to communicate, in an easily digestible format, what a devastating impact this waste has on the environment, regardless of who was listening.
 
His partner (and now our co-founder) looked down at the disposable chopsticks in her hands, and asked, “Why not start with something more tangible?”. Felix, who learned English from watching the TV show How I Met Your Mother, responded without hesitation: “Challenge accepted”.
 
What seemed ridiculous at the moment became viable as Felix began to work out the logistics with his wood science coop student, Hugh Grady (who became our Founding Partner). It made sense. So he set his mind on a new goal: recycle used chopsticks to show everyone the feasibility of creating a viable business model while utilizing neglected resources.

 
 


 
And that was the beginning of our crazy adventure.
 
With over 100,000 disposable chopsticks being thrown out daily in Metro Vancouver alone, Felix initiated a chopstick collection program by investing into cardboard bins and partnering with restaurants in Kitsilano. His background in wood engineering and research on bamboo composite materials created a strong foundation to accelerate the development of ChopValue’s initial products.
 
The result?
 
From restaurants to customers, people were supportive of our mission to extend the life of an everyday product that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.
 
Today, we manufacture a wide-range of products. Our offerings include sustainable home décor to zero waste furniture for everyday customers, and we also provide eco-friendly custom solutions for our closed-loop partners, such as businesses and real estate developers.

History




Founder's Note

Why I dream about Chopsticks.
 
Felix Böck / Founder & CEO

(Please excuse my ESL below)

I moved to Vancouver 5 years ago. I love this city, the mountains, the ocean, the forests. I am truly grateful to work on something so fulfilling by looking at our city as urban forest full of resources (and sushi restaurants). People often say that there are no “firsts” out there anymore, and that most ideas have been done, discovered, or tested before; but I think we all underestimated and neglected these little chopsticks right in front of us.
 
As background, not too long ago, I tried to apply my wood engineering and stereotypical “German efficiency thinking” (not my quote) to tackle the wood and construction waste in Vancouver. A seminar that presented the research results and potential industry know-how for value added materials unfortunately did not resonate much with industry leaders.
 
It was frustrating, but at the same time eye-opening. I realized that in order to prove sustainable business concepts that rely on under-utilized resource supply, there must be thought leaders who show its viability. It had to be interesting, something easy to comprehend, and something that elicits emotions towards the problem of linear economy and our vast amount of waste. I would need to develop a process that creates innovative, highly value added and appealing products from a relatable resource.
And that is how ChopValue was born.
 
More than 10 years in the bamboo composite manufacturing industry have not fulfilled me as much as being surrounded by young professionals who work with me on chopsticks. Having now a team of more than 25 makes us realize that 15 million chopsticks recycled up to date can in fact create change. We presented the microfactory concept in more than 10 countries so far, the media covered ChopValue’s concept in more than 35 countries, and INBAR presented ChopValue as business opportunity as a mandate to its 44 member countries. It is not about proving that we have built a viable, carbon negative manufacturing business out of discarded chopsticks anymore… it is now truly about following up to expand this concept globally.
 
We work hard to create a unique experience with a story worth sharing. In all honesty, I am not sick of sushi yet knowing that I am working with a team that shares the vision of expanding our concept through franchising, that will directly and indirectly employ 1000 people in the next 3 years, and that will expand our “made local - wherever you are” products to 75 to 100 locations.
 
Thanks to impact investment funds, investors with vision, and institutions who support our innovation in manufacturing and resource efficiency, who invested with trust to move from our single city concept to a multi-level manufacturing cluster. Your financial commitment helps us to expand our brand globally and secure the right strategic development partners for growth. Welcome to the team - Welcome to this adventure. We call it the “1.5 billion chopsticks expansion plan.”
 
I am feeling the pressure, I am feeling the strong responsibility to lead by example, and while it’s challenging to grow from proving ChopValue’s viability to now expanding ChopValue as microfactory franchise rapidly to impact as many communities as possible, we remain convinced that it is important to tackle our environmental issues with a team that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. But we know that if everyone understands this tangible example of how a chopstick fits into the circular economy thinking, we can motivate others to think the same.
 
Yes. I love what I do.

Founder's Note

Why I dream about Chopsticks.
 
Felix Böck / Founder & CEO


 

(Please excuse my ESL below)

I moved to Vancouver 5 years ago. I love this city, the mountains, the ocean, the forests. I am truly grateful to work on something so fulfilling by looking at our city as urban forest full of resources (and sushi restaurants). People often say that there are no “firsts” out there anymore, and that most ideas have been done, discovered, or tested before; but I think we all underestimated and neglected these little chopsticks right in front of us.
 
As background, not too long ago, I tried to apply my wood engineering and stereotypical “German efficiency thinking” (not my quote) to tackle the wood and construction waste in Vancouver. A seminar that presented the research results and potential industry know-how for value added materials unfortunately did not resonate much with industry leaders.
 
It was frustrating, but at the same time eye-opening. I realized that in order to prove sustainable business concepts that rely on under-utilized resource supply, there must be thought leaders who show its viability. It had to be interesting, something easy to comprehend, and something that elicits emotions towards the problem of linear economy and our vast amount of waste. I would need to develop a process that creates innovative, highly value added and appealing products from a relatable resource.
And that is how ChopValue was born.
 
More than 10 years in the bamboo composite manufacturing industry have not fulfilled me as much as being surrounded by young professionals who work with me on chopsticks. Having now a team of more than 25 makes us realize that 15 million chopsticks recycled up to date can in fact create change. We presented the microfactory concept in more than 10 countries so far, the media covered ChopValue’s concept in more than 35 countries, and INBAR presented ChopValue as business opportunity as a mandate to its 44 member countries. It is not about proving that we have built a viable, carbon negative manufacturing business out of discarded chopsticks anymore… it is now truly about following up to expand this concept globally.
 
We work hard to create a unique experience with a story worth sharing. In all honesty, I am not sick of sushi yet knowing that I am working with a team that shares the vision of expanding our concept through franchising, that will directly and indirectly employ 1000 people in the next 3 years, and that will expand our “made local - wherever you are” products to 75 to 100 locations.
 
Thanks to impact investment funds, investors with vision, and institutions who support our innovation in manufacturing and resource efficiency, who invested with trust to move from our single city concept to a multi-level manufacturing cluster. Your financial commitment helps us to expand our brand globally and secure the right strategic development partners for growth. Welcome to the team - Welcome to this adventure. We call it the “1.5 billion chopsticks expansion plan.”
 
I am feeling the pressure, I am feeling the strong responsibility to lead by example, and while it’s challenging to grow from proving ChopValue’s viability to now expanding ChopValue as microfactory franchise rapidly to impact as many communities as possible, we remain convinced that it is important to tackle our environmental issues with a team that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. But we know that if everyone understands this tangible example of how a chopstick fits into the circular economy thinking, we can motivate others to think the same.
 
Yes. I love what I do.