Saturday, 22 August 2015

Rule #138: Disposable chopsticks

Landslides in Gansu, which have killed 1117 people so far, has gotten people to ponder the issue of disposable chopsticks. Because apparently, they contribute greatly to the ongoing deforestation and desertification of China, which has been blamed for causing worse floods every year.
Some crazy stats about China's disposable chopsticks industry:
  • China's population goes through roughly 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks a year - that's 130 million pairs a day.
  • To keep up with this demand, 100 acres of trees - 100 American football fields worth - are felled every day. That means that one acre of trees gets cut down to make chopsticks every 15 minutes.
  • That works out to 16 million to 25 million felled trees a year.
  • Usually, these chopsticks are made from birch or poplar (instead of the much more renewable bamboo) to save money. It takes 30 to 40 years for one birch tree to mature.
  • In 2006, the Chinese government imposed a 5% consumption tax and a 30% price increase on chopsticks. Apparently, the only people this initiative really stopped from using disposable chopsticks were some Japanese people.
Not so chiq meow, is it? 

 Personally, I don't know why anyone would want to use 2 sticks to tweeze food together in an effort to get it to your mouth when we have perfectly good forks and spoons at our disposal. I don't see anyone opting to rub two sticks together to make fire instead of using matches or a lighter. So why the refusal to accept advancements in the cutlery sciences?

In the new world, all chopsticks will be reusable and washable.
It's not like we throw away our forks after every meal.


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