Chopsticks transformed into furniture
ChopValue turns chopsticks into furniture

ChopValue turns chopsticks into furniture.


That is the number of chopsticks, as of Feb. 17, 2022, that have been recycled and transformed into furniture and décor by the Vancouver-based company called ChopValue. That is 50,000,165 chopsticks that otherwise would have ended up in the landfill.

ChopValue's community table.
ChopValue's community table.

The company, ChopValue, was founded by Felix Bock after dinner at a sushi restaurant with his wife. Bock, called a “garbage man with a Ph.D. by his mother, founded the company in 2016.
ChopValue creates high-performance designs made entirely from recycled chopsticks. Collected from restaurants, discarded chopsticks are transformed through a “carbon-neutral micro-manufacturing model and reintroduced as high-value engineered products,” according to the company’s website.

Bock envisions building a network of distributed micro manufacturing franchises, and already has 10 franchisees in Canada, Singapore and the U.S. Bock said he is looking for “urban harvesters” to give underutilized resources a second life. 

“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. Every chopstick is perfect, slender, and defect-free, making them ideal to develop an innovative engineered material.”

Finished products include a community table - created from 33,436 discarded chopsticks - as well as wall paneling, restaurant tables, and entrance flooring. Other applications include serving blocks, kitchen backsplashes, and wall décor.

The chopsticks are cleaned and infused with resin and pressed into 5-inch tiles using hydraulic presses. The tiles are used as building blocks to engineer and craft new products including home decor, kitchenware, and tabletops.

The biggest challenge, Bock said, was the fluctuation in the supply of sustainable bamboo fiber. “Because, if you want to scale a business, you have to ensure that you have the consistent supply,” he told the BBC. He started the collection process by reaching out to restaurants and having them set up recycling bins to collect the chopsticks.

Since its founding, some of the chopsticks have found new life in the restaurants where they first found their uses. 


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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).