SMĪLE: Minimalist modular shelf made from 4,276 recycled chopsticks

Green startup ChopValue has launched a “climate positive” modular shelving system made of 4,276 recycled chopsticks.

Known as SMĪLE, the eco-friendly shelving unit is made from recycled chopsticks and construction steel, urban harvested from restaurants and construction sites.

With its minimalist and space-saving design, the timeless shelving system would suit any interiors.

The raw material, used in manufacturing the SMĪLE unit and other products from ChopValue’s range, is a composite material made by pressing these discarded chopsticks together under high pressure along with a water-based resin, giving a natural and under-utilised resource a new life.

ChopValue says: “These bamboo chopsticks have a carbon dioxide retention of 46% by weight, which they release as they decompose. And by urban harvesting and giving them a second life, each SMĪLE shelf prevents biodegradation and release of this stored CO2 into the environment.”

Launched via a Kickstarter campaign, SMĪLE has already surpassed its $20,000 goal, having raised more than $35,000 to date.The shelving units are currently available for pre-order only.

The Vancouver-based ChopValue was set up in 2017 with a view to reducing chopstick waste by giving them a second life instead. Annually over 100 billion disposable chopsticks are used worldwide.

Since launching, ChopValue has recycled 25,927,503 chopsticks.

Felix Böck, founder of ChopValue, said: “We work to create a unique experience and an impact that will inspire people. By reutilising used chopsticks, we promote forests’ sustainable management and raise social awareness for environmental accountability.

ChopValue collects over 350,000 chopsticks a week from our restaurant partners in Metro Vancouver alone, diverting them from the landfill.

All products are made in Microfactories, with locations currently in Vancouver and Montreal, with more locations opening later this year.  

The green startup has developed its Microfactory concept for a global scale and launched a franchise concept in early 2020. The goal is to have a local Microfactory that will serve customers, wherever they are in the world, for a more efficient process while being a carbon-negative company.

Felix Böck added: “Our story resonates with people. We believe that we have the responsibility to educate, inspire, and set an example that resource efficiency thinking should simply be the norm.”


Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at

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