This Canadian startup makes furniture from recycled chopsticks

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

One man’s chopsticks are another man’s furniture: Eco startup Chopvalue believes there’s a better place for your used utensils than the bin. 

The Canadian startup claims it’s the world’s first franchise company to turn used wooden chopsticks into furniture and housewares. 

According to founder and CEO Felix Bock, the idea came after his partner, Thalia Otamendi, suggested starting with something as small as chopsticks, reports The Guardian.

On a mission to redefine the term “waste” as “resource”, the company collects old chopsticks from schools, restaurants, hotels, and offices that would otherwise have ended up in landfills. After collection, the chopsticks are re-engineered at the companý’s micro-factories to give them a second life as furniture, office solutions, home decor – and even wooden toys.

“We urban harvest used chopsticks. Our resource is what others may view as waste – that means we don’t take virgin materials from our environment,” said the company. “Every chopstick is perfect, slender and defect-free, making them ideal for developing innovative engineered material.”

The company says its mindset has always been circularity and longevity when designing products. It allows them to lessen environmental impact while creating sustainable solutions engineered to last.

One might ask, most chopsticks are made of bamboo, and bamboo is compostable. So why not compost them instead? Well, according to the company, from an emissions perspective, composting will still emit the embodied carbon content of the chopsticks back into the air as carbon dioxide, so why not extend the material’s lifespan instead?

“Given that bamboo is a fast-growing grass, it is one of the best materials to use for carbon sequestration,” the startup says. “But to continue sequestering the carbon, its life needs to be extended as long as possible.”

From a circular economy perspective, the company claims compost would be the last resort as a solution.

The company is set to launch this year in Australia after its success in Singapore and the UK.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.


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