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ChopValue - the startup that's recycling and repurposing chopsticks

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by Startacus Admin

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The lowdown on ChopValue, the Vancouver-based startup that's creating beautiful homeware and decorative products from recycled chopsticks...

Wall-Art_1600xIt may not be the world’s biggest environmental disaster, but every single week, hundreds of thousands, millions of chopsticks are thrown away. Bear with us. 

These may be cheap, they may even come free with your takeaway, but that doesn’t mean they are made of low quality wood fit only for the landfill; most chopsticks are made of bamboo. Couldn’t this wasted wood be recycled for use in making something that would otherwise require more trees to be chopped down?

That is what PhD student Felix Böck thought 4 years ago. Now, his Vancouver-based startup ChopValue has recycled around 32 million chopsticks, creating furniture, homeware, décor, kitchenware, games, shelving, and all kinds of miscellaneous products that you might expect to find wood made into. 

starter-set-10There is no shortage of chopsticks to do this with, with the startup collecting 350,000 per week from Vancouver alone from recycling bins placed in restaurants, universities, airports, and shopping centres. Some of the restaurants these chopsticks are recycled from are now sporting décor and tableware created by ChopValue.

The process of using heat, steam, and pressure to turn these mostly bamboo chopsticks into solid blocks of wood and then into their various products is one that can easily be done in microfactories around the country - which is currently being done, with locations in Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, and Los Angeles - and, eventually, around the world. 

This is ChopValue’s ultimate goal, not just making and selling products from their own place in Vancouver, but to expand the model to franchises around the world, all recycling chopsticks from local sources, using microfactories to turn them into products, and saving more bamboo from the landfill. Which makes pandas cry. You don’t want to make pandas cry, do you?

With the manner of sourcing these chopsticks, profit starts on day one, making ChopValue a pretty good franchise to get into now that they are turning their eye to expansion.




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Published on: 3rd February 2021

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