Cocktail Chatter: Billions of Chopsticks Disposed Every Year

6231546597_fc6e05e89eYes, we realize it’s only Monday — and a little early for cocktails but after a tasty sushi dinner last night, one where we actually forgot the chopsticks with the takeout, we started thinking about the waste that disposable chopsticks create…and well you know what happens next…a little (a lot) of research.

About 3.8 million trees go into the manufacture of about 57 billion disposable pairs of chopsticks in China, according to statistics from that nation’s national forest bureau. Approximately half of those are used in China and the other half are mainly exported to Japan, South Korea and United States.

The amount of trees needed to create disposable chopsticks is wreaking havoc on China’s forests. According to a United Nations report, 10,800 square miles of Asian forest are disappearing each year. If that doesn’t get you to switch to reusable chopsticks — the health benefits might:

As reported by the New York Times in an interview with Greenpeace, “While production standards exist in China, supervision is sometimes nonexistent, especially in small factories. Industrial-grade sulfur, paraffin, hydrogen peroxide and insect repellent are among the harmful chemicals that Chinese media investigations have exposed during production.”
Photo via Flickr: f_shields.

5158kFRAwHL._SY450_Ready for reusables like these cute Party People chopsticks? We’ve got you covered here and here.

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