The program offers a fun and engaging opportunity to connect people to zero waste options via social media, partnerships and conventional channels. Diners are invited to 'trade up' their collected stock of take-out sticks at the ChopSwap 'station' at regular community events like farmers markets, food truck festivals or other options in the 'hood'.
Several restaurants in the West End use disposable chopsticks as the main utensil offered to sit-down diners. A reusable option could be easily 'swapped in, with little-to-no impact on kitchen operations and eliminating this unnecessary waste stream.
Approximately 5 million trees are cut down annually to make 80 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks. Despite being an organic product, it's estimated that more than 90% of disposables, at home and restaurants, go directly to landfill.
All swapped + reclaimed sticks by ChopSwap will eventually turn into art to promote zero waste awareness. The program offers family 'combo specials' and school education opportunities.
Consumers and restaurants can also support local social enterprise through purchase of hand-crafted ChopSwap sleeves & carrying pouches made from recycled 'civic' materials and assembled by Common Thread, a not-for-profit co-op. All proceeds from the cases support Common Thread in the purchase of more cases.
Although some programs are trying to divert this waste, it's virtually impossible to make disposable chopsticks sustainable. We need our trees to function as the lungs of our planet. And, as with plastic straws, disposable chopsticks can become a thing of the past.
Do the ChopSwap and be a zero waste hero today.