There’s a famous quote that goes like this: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But it’s not Vegas I’m talking about today. No, it’s my most favorite city Vancouver. And luckily for upcycle design fans what happens in Vancouver, doesn’t stay in Vancouver.
No, during my search for upcycle projects and my interest in that city I stumbled upon a mind-blowing and simple idea on how to reuse bamboo chopsticks. And those ideas or designs are the best. The fact that it looks simple, doesn’t mean it’s simple.
Extend the life cycle of chopsticks
More than 100,000 disposable sticks are being thrown out daily in Metro Vancouver alone. That staggering amount should make one think about what to do with waste. But most people don’t care. But a fantastic company in Vancouver does.
They’re called ChopValue and is founded by German native Felix Böck. He got the idea during a sushi dinner with his partner (and now our co-founder) looked down at the disposable chopsticks in her hands. Thinking about reusing these sticks for something else initially seemed a ridiculous idea. But after working out several different aspects it made more and more sense. So he set out to recycle used chopsticks to show everyone the feasibility of creating a viable business model while using discarded resources.
Bamboo is a perfect and sustainable material
Discarded bamboo chopsticks are perfect material for creating various objects. Bamboo is a great resource, sustainable and rapidly growing. But first, Felix had to get his hands on as many bamboo chopsticks as he could. So he made a small investment and bought cardboard bins to launch a chopsticks collection program. Felix has a background in wood engineering. This helped him, together with extensive research on bamboo composite materials, to develop and create his first market-ready products.
It should be a normality to think twice if we can reuse a material or not before we throw it away.
Sometimes it is as if the consumer market is waiting for a certain product. Without knowing it in advance, one then embraces a new product. Fortunately, people are becoming more environmentally aware and want honest, eco-friendly products. And ChopValue fits in perfectly with products from reused bamboo chopsticks.
Reuse chopsticks With ChopValue
Please read the following sentence very carefully, because it’s mind-blowing. 1.5 BILLION disposable chopsticks are discarded globally, per week. That’s a problem we have to solve and can solve, together. And to do that the creative people of ChopValue developed a free recycling program. Since the start, lots of companies made a step to become greener. Restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, corporate offices, and airports have joined the movement.
What does the program entail, what should one do as a company? Well, it’s very simple. Once those chopsticks have been used for a delicious meal, they should not be thrown into the garbage. Instead, they should be placed in a collection bin provided by ChopValue. With this one simple step, one reduces the amount of waste produced and the associated disposal fees, while increasing convenience and sustainability.
For those who have become enthusiastic about the idea of upcycling discarded chopsticks, I have two more amazing ideas that have featured before on upcycleDZINE. Just have a look at the Chopsticks Lamp Project by De.Co.Ré and Chopsticks Tripod Lamp by T.O.M.T.™
Design by ChopValue