Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Are chopsticks endangering the environment?

According to an article in the Telegraph, yes, they are!

With 1.4 billion people ploughing through 80 billion pairs of throwaway chopsticks each year, China has admitted its forests can no longer provide enough cutlery for its dinner tables.

"We must change our consumption habits and encourage people to carry their own tableware," said Bo Guangxin, the chairman of Jilin Forestry Industry Group, to his fellow delegates at the National People's Congress.

Pointing out that only 4,000 chopsticks can be carved from a 20-year-old tree, he even went so far as to suggest that restaurants offered metal knives and forks instead.

China is chopping down 20 million mature trees a year to feed its disposable chopstick habit

. . .

Nor can China find enough wood in its own forests. China is now the world's largest importer of wood and even imports chopsticks from America, where a company in Georgia realised that the state's native gum wood would be perfectly suited to make the utensil.

There's more at the link.

And what happens to those who cling to their chopsticks if the Chinese government tries to popularize the use of forks?  I suppose they'll have to form a splinter group in society . . .



Bob said...

Wonder why they can't use bamboo? It's fast-growing and not any sort of endangered species.

Jennifer said...

I already carry my own chopsticks. And the ones I use at home are stainless steel.
Guess that makes me some kind of hippie

Old NFO said...

Splinter group... ROTFLMAO! :-)

HerrBGone said...

"Splinter group." That was painful! (And I swapped out the tweezers in my SAK for a toothpick...)

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Someday, I'll teach you to use chopsticks. Right about the time you use a knife and fork in the proper American way... oh, who am I fooling? Not even myself!

Toejam said...

In order to save the forest I bought some rubber chopsticks.

But you have to keep them in the freezer and wear insulated gloves when having your dinner.