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Waste & Recycling January 20, 2021 03:30:23 AM

This Canadian Start-Up Turns Millions of Chopsticks into Sustainable Furniture

Waste Advantage
ScrapMonster Contributor
Böck developed a way of cleaning the used chopsticks, and using heat, steam and pressure to turn them into versatile blocks.

This Canadian Start-Up Turns Millions of Chopsticks into Sustainable Furniture

SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): Since 2016, Felix Böck’s company ChopValue has been taking used bamboo chopsticks from restaurants in Canada and the US, and transforming them into attractive wooden tiles which are used in a range of furniture and homewares. A simple idea, born from a passionate aversion to waste. “These chopsticks travel 6,000 miles to arrive on your dining table for 20 to 30 minutes,” Böck told the Guardian. “You can’t possibly feel good about throwing them out afterwards.” Böck, who has a background in wood engineering in Germany, was studying for a PhD in structural bamboo composites in Vancouver when inspiration struck as he was eating his favourite meal – sushi.

“I had an eye-opening moment when I connected the chopsticks I ate dinner with to the vast amount of under-utilized wood resources from demolished construction sites,” he explained in an interview with Forbes. “I had been trying to implement a regional program to tackle urban wood waste, but it fell on deaf ears – so I thought the humble little chopstick was a more relatable resource to show how you can build viable business opportunities from resource efficiency.”

Böck developed a way of cleaning the used chopsticks, and using heat, steam and pressure to turn them into versatile blocks. He began partnering with local restaurants, which quickly overcame any scepticism and appreciated the value in turning their trash into something useful.

Courtesy: www.wasteadvantagemag.com

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