Felix Böck remembers the evening five years ago when the solution popped into his mind while he was having dinner with his girlfriend at a sushi restaurant in Vancouver. The engineer and carpenter had just returned from a conference with 60 representatives of the biggest international woodworking companies, where he had presented sustainable solutions for wood waste. He had garnered applause for his presentation.
“I expected people to queue up after my talk, eager for more information about how we can log less timber and use more recycled wood instead,” Böck says, “but after they applauded, they all went for dinner.”
While he was venting his frustration, “My girlfriend said, Felix, sometimes you have to start very small.” Still irked, he watched the waiter swipe the used chopsticks into the trash when the idea hit him: “What if I start really small, with chopsticks?”
“Suddenly, I understood that I had to show people how circular economy works instead of just talking about it,” Böck says passionately. “What if I could build a profitable, sustainable business based on something as small and insignificant as chopsticks? I immediately got going the next morning because as an engineer, I already knew it would work.”