HOW Disposable Chopstick is Produced?
Chopsticks are made from a variety of materials: bamboo, wood, plastic, bone, metal, jade and ivory. Disposable chopsticks are made from bamboo or wood. Bamboo and wood chopsticks are cheap, low in temperature conduction and provide good grip for holding food due to their matte surfaces. They can warp and deteriorate with continued use. Almost all cooking and disposable chopsticks are made of bamboo or wood.
But, no matter where you live, the fact remains that disposable chopsticks are made by clear cutting forests for the wood. On a recent updates, apparently, China’s Ministry of Commerce has sent out a warning to chopstick makers in June to warn them that they will face local government restrictions: “Production, circulation and recycling of disposable chopsticks should be more strictly supervised”. The restrictions are aimed at decreasing the use of the throwaway utensil… – LA Times
Let us begin with China’s 1.3 billion populations. In one year, they go through roughly 45 billion pairs of the throwaway utensils; that averages out to nearly 130 million pairs of chopsticks a day. And the export market accounts for an additional 18 billion pairs annually.
Greenpeace China has estimated that to keep up with this demand, 100 acres of trees need to be felled every 24 hours. Think here of a forest larger than Tienanmen Square — or 100 American football fields — being sacrificed every day. That works out to roughly 16 million to 25 million felled trees a year. Deforestation is one of China’s gravest environmental problems, leading to soil erosion, famine, flooding, carbon dioxide release, desertification and species extinction.
However, if you compare 100 acres per day to the size of China’s forests, it still isn’t that much as China is a big country, but chopsticks are far from the only thing pressuring Chinese ecosystems.
The Bring Your Own Chopsticks movement has been gaining momentum, but is still far from succeeding in changing people’s mindset. But there is some hope on the horizon: As China grows richer, more restaurants will be able to afford the equipment to wash and sterilize reusable chopsticks.