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The Kid Should See This

Upcycling used chopsticks into furniture, games, and more

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What can you make with used chopsticks? With around 10,000 used chopsticks, ChopValue can make a sturdy desk. They’ve been upcycling single-use chopsticks since 2016, redirecting around 33 million chopsticks away from landfills and into useful second lives.

That’s only a fraction of the 130 million used pairs that are thrown away in China every single day, (not to mention the chopsticks used around the globe, including the town where you live,) but it’s a good start. This Business Insider video goes behind-the-scenes at ChopValue’s factory:

ChopValue drivers pick up used chopsticks from over 300 restaurants around Vancouver a couple times a week… The restaurants part with them for free…

First, they sort the chopsticks on the custom-built shaker table.

shaking chopsticks

…neat stacks are easier to work with. Then they dip the sticks into a water-based resin. That provides a protective coating before they roast in a massive oven for five hours. The 200-degree heat kills all the germs. It smells like a bakery.

The chopsticks are then separated, weighed, and put into a hydraulic machine that presses them with hundreds of pounds of pressure, creating an engineered tile of material.

chopstick compressor
pressing the chopsticks
This is the core of ChopValue’s more than 30 products, including designer coasters, desks, countertops, shelves, and toys like building blocks and dominoes.

ChopValue factory
Related: Sheila Morovati’s #CutOutCutlery campaign.

File under: Sustainability and reuse. Watch two more videos about transforming waste into a new useful product:
• MarinaTex, a bioplastic made from fish waste
• Making a new felted kimono coat from recycled sweaters
• Recycling plastic waste to make bricks that are stronger than concrete

Plus: An innovative edible spoon, a smart alternative to plastic waste.

And what is the Circular Economy?

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