Learn more about disposable chopsticks

Disposable bamboo chopsticks are made of renewable bamboo, which is very economical and is widely used. China also uses the preferential policy of export tax rebates to encourage the use of disposable bamboo chopsticks instead of disposable wooden chopsticks to reduce the use of wood. Forest preservation.

Learn more about disposable chopsticks

Disposable chopsticks refer to chopsticks that are discarded once used, also known as “convenient chopsticks”. Disposable chopsticks are the product of the fast pace of social life. There are disposable wooden chopsticks and disposable bamboo chopsticks. A large amount of woodland was destroyed by disposable wooden chopsticks, and poor quality wooden chopsticks were not clean.


Disposable bamboo chopsticks are made of renewable bamboo, which is very economical and is widely used. China also uses the preferential policy of export tax rebates to encourage the use of disposable bamboo chopsticks instead of disposable wooden chopsticks to reduce the use of wood. Forest preservation.


Disposable chopsticks introduction:

Disposable chopsticks refer to chopsticks that are discarded once used, also known as “hygienic chopsticks” and “convenient chopsticks.” Disposable chopsticks are a product of the fast-paced, resource-saving life of the society, and also the product of a sharp decline in forest resources.

There are disposable wooden chopsticks and disposable bamboo chopsticks. Disposable chopsticks are favored by the catering industry due to their hygiene and convenience, but the problem of a large amount of woodland destruction caused by disposable wooden chopsticks has become increasingly prominent.

The consumption of various types of wooden chopsticks in the Chinese market is huge, of which 45 billion pairs of disposable wooden chopsticks are consumed each year (about 1.66 million cubic meters of wood). Every 5,000 pairs of wooden disposable chopsticks consume one poplar tree that has grown for 30 years. The production of disposable wooden chopsticks nationwide consumes more than 100 acres of forest every day, which totals 36,000 acres a year. And poor-quality wooden chopsticks are not clean, they just give people a hygienic illusion.

As disposable bamboo chopsticks are made from renewable bamboo, which is economical and environmentally friendly, they are increasingly widely used. China encourages the use of disposable bamboo chopsticks instead of disposable wooden chopsticks for export, reducing the use of wood and protecting the forest.


Disposable chopsticks can be found in various restaurants and cafeterias in Japan. Japan’s annual consumption of disposable chopsticks is about 25.7 billion pairs, with a per capita consumption of about 200 pairs. At the same time, the output of disposable chopsticks in Japan accounts for only about 3%, and the remaining 97% is imported, of which disposable chopsticks imported from China account for 99% of total imports. That said, about 96% of disposable chopsticks in Japan come from China.

As early as the Edo period, the Japanese invented disposable chopsticks suitable for Japanese eating habits. By 1990, the output of domestically produced disposable chopsticks had reached 24 billion pairs. At the same time, because disposable chopsticks consume a large amount of wood, there has been a discussion in Japan about whether disposable chopsticks will damage forest resources. Some manufacturers have turned their attention overseas.

Initially, Japan imported disposable chopsticks from countries such as China, South Africa, Indonesia, and Canada. South Korea was also a major importer of disposable chopsticks in Japan, but slowly, due to a variety of reasons, including increased domestic demand for disposable chopsticks, depletion of timber resources, and fierce price competition in the international market, South Korea not only stopped Japanese exports have also become importers of disposable chopsticks.

It was a Japanese businessman who introduced disposable chopsticks to China, and China exported a large number of disposable chopsticks to Japan because of a Japanese businessman. In the early 1990s, when some Japanese businessmen began to develop processing bases for disposable chopsticks overseas, a Japanese businessman first established a small factory producing disposable chopsticks in Northeast China. In the beginning, this small factory did not directly use Chinese wood to produce disposable chopsticks exported to Japan but used white birch wood imported from Russia’s Siberian region for processing and production.

Later, when it became profitable, not only Japanese businessmen entered China in large numbers, but also invested and set up factories in China through joint ventures. Even some local Chinese companies began to convert disposable chopsticks. In this way, while Chinese disposable chopsticks were exported to Japan, they began to spread throughout the country. In the 1980s, the use of renewable bamboo as raw materials began to produce more environmentally friendly disposable bamboo chopsticks. With the enhancement of people’s environmental awareness and health awareness, disposable bamboo chopsticks have developed rapidly. The share of disposable bamboo chopsticks has reached 50%, and there is more momentum than wooden chopsticks.

Quality analysis:

Some inferiorly processed disposable chopsticks are left with unqualified hydrogen peroxide for “whitening”.

The raw materials used by regular manufacturers to produce disposable chopsticks are relatively good-quality wood or fresh Moso bamboo, which are processed by regular processes, and food-grade sulfur fumigation and bleaching. 600mg per kg of chopsticks. However, in order to reduce costs, some small workshops use inferior wood, and the “skin tone” appears darker or even yellow.

To identify the quality of disposable chopsticks, first check whether the manufacturer’s name, trademark and contact information are printed on the package. Second, you can smell the smell of chopsticks. If there is a sour smell, it is best not to use it. Of course, the best way is to wash the surface of the chopsticks with cold water to reduce the residual chemicals.

Major drawbacks:

Rare resource

Although China’s disposable chopsticks exports to Japan have brought income to some places and created certain employment opportunities, we should also see the problems this industry brings to China. If one adult tree can produce 10,000 pairs of chopsticks, China’s exports of more than 20 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks will require at least 2.5 million trees and hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of forest need to be cut down. Different from the “thinning” method adopted in Japan, most of China’s forest harvesting uses the “one-light” type of felling. It should be said that this is a devastating harvest of existing forest resources. Due to the lack of subsequent tree planting work, the originally renewable forest resources have become one-time resources. This is a great waste of China’s forestry resources.

China’s export of disposable chopsticks to Japan is the most typical economic development model of developing countries, that is, the development of resource-exporting production and development in order to develop the economy, and over-exploitation of resources eventually leads to environmental damage. Many countries that exported disposable chopsticks to Japan at that time had this experience. Many countries have to withdraw from this market because of the depletion of forest resources. When a large number of Chinese disposable chopsticks entered Japan, some domestic manufacturers also proposed to the government such as restricting imports from China. Although the Japanese government-imposed restrictions on beef and pork imports in 1995 and 1996, the Japanese government has reduced import tariffs from 5.2% to 4.7% since the beginning of 1999. This also reflects the Japanese government’s attitude towards the import problem, which is destructive to other countries’ resources.

In order to meet the demand for Japanese exports, Chinese chopstick-making companies have to consume a large amount of wood, and the forests in northern China are being destroyed. This means that Japan is plundering the resources of other countries. Regarding the issue of China’s export of disposable chopsticks to Japan, although the Japanese government’s Forestry Department has repeatedly insisted that the use of construction waste and “thin-cut” wood as raw materials to produce disposable chopsticks is not destroying forest resources, but promoting the effective use Forest resources, but this may be feasible in Japan, and putting it in China may be another matter. Because if it is produced by “thin cutting” and using scraps, it will undoubtedly increase production costs, and Chinese companies may withdraw from the team that exports disposable chopsticks to Japan.

False inferiority

Most disposable chopsticks are packaged with the words high-temperature disinfection, cleanliness, and sanitation, but in fact, because disposable chopsticks are cheap and have a large market share, many small businesses use sulfur fumigation, hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid to compete for this market Sodium immersion, bleaching, and talc polishing are to reduce costs. In fact, the purpose of sanitation and disinfection has not been achieved at all. The polyethylene packaging of disposable chopsticks is more harmful to people. Things down the production line will produce more harmful ingredients at high temperatures, which will induce the body to produce many chronic diseases.

Hidden hazard

  1. Damage to respiratory function: sulfur fumigation must be performed during the production of disposable chopsticks, so sulfur will be released during the use and heat will erode the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract;
  2. Damage to digestive function: Disposable chopsticks are bleached with hydrogen peroxide during the production process. Hydrogen peroxide is strongly corrosive, causing corrosion to the mouth, esophagus and even the stomach and intestines;
  3. Germ infection: The shelf life of sterilized disposable chopsticks is up to 4 months. Once the shelf life has passed, it is likely to bring yellow grape bacteria, Escherichia coli, and hepatitis disease;
  4. Disposable chopsticks may also have a “greenhouse effect”. Because of the vicious cycle, there are fewer trees, carbon dioxide will increase, the atmosphere will thicken, and the heat will be difficult to spread.
  5. Disposable chopsticks cause cancer: Experts point out that expired disposable chopsticks contain the carcinogen aflatoxin, which has a very high risk of carcinogenesis and can induce the occurrence of liver cancer. Don’t underestimate this small disposable chopstick, it has a shelf life. After the shelf life, it is a dangerous item. Disposable chopsticks are rejected.

British media reports

The British Daily Telegraph said that after more than one billion Chinese people use 80 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks each year, China’s forests can no longer provide enough wood to support the chopsticks industry. Today, China cuts 20 million trees annually to meet the demand for disposable chopsticks. China has become the world’s largest timber importer. To this end, the newspaper said: China must replace chopsticks with a knife and fork!

Harmful to health

“White” is made from industrial ingredients

Huaihua City, Hunan Province is one of the main producing places of disposable chopsticks. There are more than 40 large and small disposable chopsticks factories with an annual output of more than 1 billion pairs. In a chopsticks factory in Xiaojiaxiang, Huitong County, the reporter saw the entire production process of disposable chopsticks.

Chemical raw materials discovered during manufacturing

Disposable chopsticks are still in use

The workers cut the bamboo into sections, cut them into blanks with a machine, and dried them in a baking room. The dried blank of chopsticks is covered with a layer of cloth tightly, and white smoke emerges from time to time, giving off a pungent smell. The factory workers told us that they were using sulfur to smoke the chopsticks in order to make them whiter and prevent it from the mold. The reporter found that the sulfur they used was industrial sulfur, which is a chemical raw material. During the fumigation process, sulfur dioxide residues will be produced, and the process of fumbling chopsticks will take two days.

After sulfur is smoked, and then the rough is cut, the chopsticks are formed. In order to make the chopsticks feel smoother, we have to polish them. The reporter saw that not only the chopsticks but also the white things in the polishing machine. The worker told us that it was paraffin. Paraffin, which contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, is a low-end product in the petroleum smelting process. In this way, after polishing with paraffin, the chopsticks were put into bags filled with fertilizers and waiting for shipment.

Moldy chopsticks are cooked before selling

During the investigation, the reporter also discovered a strange phenomenon. Some black chopsticks that had been moldy and not deteriorated were not thrown away but were further processed. In Xichong Village, Huaihua, Hunan, the reporter saw a scene where black chopsticks were cooked white. The owner told us that the bleaching agent they used was hydrogen peroxide, and 40 pounds were poured in a pot.

The reporter learned that the use of industrial hydrogen peroxide to cook moldy and deteriorated chopsticks before selling them for sale has become an open secret in the industry. After the processing of these chemical raw materials, a variety of chemical residues will be produced on disposable chopsticks. Long-term intake of these chemical residues will be harmful to human health. However, the reporter visited more than 30 large and small chopsticks in Huaihua, Hunan and Yifeng, Jiangxi. Factory, everywhere, no one disinfects chopsticks.

Residue in disposable chopsticks exceeded standards

As early as 2005, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and Standardization of the People’s Republic of China has jointly issued national standards for disposable chopsticks. In the use of food additives, only sulfur dioxide is allowed to have certain residues, and the specific residues have strict restrictions, but This standard has long been left behind by these manufacturers. Even the manufacturers themselves acknowledge that “the majority of disposable chopsticks now have residues that exceed the standard” and such “hygienic chopsticks are actually very unsanitary”.

In this way, chopsticks went from the manufacturer to the wholesaler. Some were packaged and sold throughout the country, and finally entered small and medium-sized restaurants, and some were wholesaled to some processing plants to make disposable tableware. In Huaihua, Hunan, the reporter met the wholesaler Ma Liansen who supplies tableware processing plants. According to him, tableware brands such as Geely, Autumn, and Tapp are using his chopsticks, which are disinfected by the tableware factory after entering the tableware factory.

In this way, disposable chopsticks without any sterilization treatment finally appeared to us in the form of sterilized tableware.

Disposable chopsticks also have a shelf life

The “Detailed Implementation Rules for Food Packaging Containers and Tools” clearly stipulates that sterilized disposable tableware can only be kept for a maximum of 4 months. Why should we set the shelf life of disposable chopsticks? That’s because the wood or bamboo made from disposable chopsticks contains a certain amount of water, and it is easy to mold over time. Especially in the summer and autumn rainy season or in the relatively humid environment in the south, mildew is more likely to occur. If consumers use these expired moldy disposable chopsticks, they will eat “aflatoxin”.

Extremely environmentally friendly “disposables”

More and more “disposable items” are bringing convenience to people’s lives. However, from the perspective of environmental protection, behind this convenient and fast is the waste of a lot of resources and the accumulation of garbage, which brings endless troubles. According to the survey, there are currently thousands of domestic enterprises producing wooden chopsticks, which consumes wooden resources annually Nearly 5 million cubic meters. The annual harvest of forest trees in the country is about 47.58 million cubic meters, and these chopsticks account for 10.5%. In the process of producing chopsticks, from round wood to wooden blocks to finished products, the effective utilization rate of wood is 60%.

The raw materials of regular disposable chopsticks are all good-quality wood and do not need special processing. However, in order to reduce costs, many small workshops use low-quality wood, which looks “skin tone” darker. Of course, this less beautiful color cannot be favored by consumers. Therefore, after processing, the disposable chopsticks produced by the small workshop producers will immediately “make a makeover” and board the people’s table.

Production method investigation

The solid-state is made by sulfur fumigation and bleaching. The sulfur dioxide of bleached chopsticks will seriously exceed the standard. Therefore, when people eat with this kind of chopsticks, sulfur dioxide is easily coagulated to the respiratory tract and coughs with the flow of air. Respiratory diseases such as asthma follow. In addition, sulfur contains heavy metals, for example, metals such as mercury/lead can accumulate in the human body. Accumulation over a long period of time can cause mercury poisoning.

Liquid-processed chopsticks are bleached with chlorine or hydrogen peroxide, especially chlorine, and may contain dioxins that once made people talk.

As for bamboo chopsticks, in order to remove the burrs of the chopsticks and make them look smooth and white, the maker puts them into talcum powder and processes the chopsticks by rubbing. Although disposable chopsticks produced by informal manufacturers are very harmful, so far, China has not issued specific sanitary inspection standards for disposable chopsticks.

Huang Bo experiment

Disposable chopsticks stained with a glass of water

On March 17, 2013, actor Huang Bo sent a message with pictures on Weibo that Tucao encountered a meal in a restaurant using disposable chopsticks. The picture shows that the disposable chopsticks were soaked in a water glass, and the colorless and transparent water turned It turns yellow, and there is a layer of oil-like substance on the water surface.

The Weibo immediately sparked heated discussion. It has been forwarded more than 100,000 times in less than a day. “I don’t know, I was shocked at a glance.” “I will have to bring my own chopsticks when I go out to eat.” Netizens have commented and asked to expose the restaurant. Some even called on the country to prohibit the use of disposable chopsticks.

On the afternoon of the 18th, Huang Bo responded again on Weibo, arguing that restaurants using this kind of disposable chopsticks are very common, “We can only refuse to use or use less disposable chopsticks, a little more environmental protection, a longer life.

Experts say they may be over smoked by sulfur

Food packaging experts said that normal chopsticks will produce a slightly light yellow color because they contain lignin, but the chopsticks soaked in Huang Bo’s photos are likely to be fumigated by sulfur, so be sure to be careful of disposable chopsticks, Sulfur yellow smoked. ” Do not use disposable chopsticks that are black, yellow, spotty, or too thin.

Administrative instructions:

Urgent notice from the State Food and Drug Administration

Urgent notice on strictly preventing unqualified disposable chopsticks from flowing into the catering service

Food and Drug Administration for Food [2010] No. 26

Provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government (Bureaus), Food and Drug Administration:

Some media reported that some chopsticks manufacturing enterprises were processing disposable chopsticks in violation of regulations. In order to prevent disposable chopsticks that do not meet safety standards from entering the catering service and effectively protect consumers’ food safety, please promptly organize the supervision and inspection of the procurement and use of disposable chopsticks by catering service units and carry out supervisory random inspections. If it is found that the disposable chopsticks purchased by the catering service unit have an impact on food safety, the catering service unit shall be supervised to immediately stop using and destroy it. Anyone found to have violated the relevant provisions of the Food Safety Law and its implementing regulations shall be dealt with seriously in accordance with the law. At the same time, timely report the situation of the source of the problem chopsticks to the production and distribution supervision departments.

Please report the status of supervision and inspection to the Food Safety Supervision Department of the State Food and Drug Administration before the end of April.

Office of the State Food and Drug Administration

March 18, 2010

Ministry of Commerce and other requirements reduce the use of disposable chopsticks

On June 17, 2010, the Ministry of Commerce, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the State Administration of Taxation, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the State Forestry Administration, and the State Food and Drug Administration jointly issued “Notice on Reducing the Use of Disposable Chopsticks” (Shangjingyingfa [2010] No. 220) requires the catering and restaurant industry to reduce the use of disposable chopsticks. This measure is to implement the spirit of the “Notice of the General Office of the State Council on In-depth Implementation of National Energy Conservation Actions” (Guobanfa [2008] No. 16), continue to promote the “reduction in the use of disposable chopsticks” and further achieve practical results The catering industry has developed in a good atmosphere of saving resources and protecting the environment.

The “Notice” requires a full understanding of the significance of reducing the use of disposable chopsticks. It is pointed out that the widespread use of disposable chopsticks has prominent health and environmental issues, and society has strongly responded to this. Strengthening the supervision of the production, distribution, and recycling of disposable chopsticks, reducing the use of disposable chopsticks, and promoting the non-use of disposable chopsticks are important measures to implement the scientific development concept and build a resource-saving and environment-friendly society. On the basis of supporting the implementation of the contents of the initiative, all regions and departments should take effective measures to reduce the use of disposable chopsticks in response to the outstanding problems in the production, circulation, and consumption of “disposable chopsticks”.

The “Notice” requires that all departments should establish working mechanisms, work together and cooperate closely in accordance with their respective functions, and jointly work on “reducing the use of disposable chopsticks”. Commercial departments at all levels should effectively guide the catering operations and consumption links. Development and reform, the forestry department must rationally adjust and continuously optimize the industrial structure of forest products, restrict new enterprises producing disposable wooden chopsticks, standardize the production of disposable wooden chopsticks by existing enterprises, and improve the standard of disposable wooden chopsticks. The quality inspection department should strengthen the supervision of disposable chopsticks production enterprises, urge the production enterprises to improve production technical conditions and ensure that production is organized in accordance with standards. The tax department should further study and adjust tax and fee policies to provide policy support for reducing the use of disposable chopsticks. Food and drug supervision and departments still responsible for food safety supervision should strengthen the supervision of disposable chopsticks. The commerce, development and reform departments shall establish a one-time chopstick recycling mechanism, set up recycling points in urban consumer concentrated areas, and realize resource reuse. Environmental protection departments should strengthen cooperation and earnestly promote the work related to reducing the use of disposable chopsticks.

The “Notice” proposes that in order to expand the social impact and continue this work, it is necessary to make full use of the role of associations in strengthening industry self-discipline and regulating corporate behavior, and further carry out various forms of social initiatives and Relevant activities, do a good job in the promotion and implementation of relevant national laws, regulations, and standards, guide processing manufacturers and catering companies to continuously enhance awareness of resource conservation and environmental protection, and reduce the use of disposable chopsticks as a conscious action in daily management. Catering companies with fixed business locations should actively provide clean, hygienic, safe and reliable reusable chopsticks. It is necessary to provide non-fixed operating places for disposable chopsticks and take-out and food delivery enterprises. It is necessary to use disposable bamboo chopsticks as much as possible, strictly control the hygiene quality of chopsticks, and effectively recycle them. It is necessary to give full play to the guiding role of the news media and public opinion, vigorously publicize the successful practices and typical experiences of advanced enterprises in “reducing the use of disposable chopsticks”, and form a good atmosphere of reducing the use of disposable chopsticks. All kinds of related enterprises should consciously accept the supervision of the people and all walks of life, gradually regulate the production and circulation of disposable chopsticks, and replace disposable chopsticks with safe and hygienic reusable chopsticks.

The “Notice” further requires that all regions and departments should strengthen guidance and supervision, relevant industry associations should guide enterprises to strictly self-discipline, vigorously advocate the scientific consumption concept of green consumption, moderate consumption, and healthy eating. By establishing and improving relevant rules and regulations, ” “Reducing the use of disposable chopsticks” has been implemented in all aspects. Encourage small and medium-sized catering companies that use more disposable chopsticks to provide cleaning, disinfection, and storage facilities for reusable chopsticks as soon as possible to ensure that they meet safety and health standards and create good conditions for consumers to reduce or not use disposable chopsticks. It is necessary to adopt popular propaganda forms and encouragement and guidance measures to strengthen the guidance of consumers so that reducing and not using disposable chopsticks becomes a conscious action of catering consumption. “Reduce the use of disposable chopsticks” as an important content of building a resource-saving and environment-friendly society in various places, enhance the popularity and durability of publicity, and win widespread understanding and support from consumers.

The “Notice” requires all regions and departments to formulate relevant policies and measures to encourage enterprises to improve supporting facilities and create favorable conditions for reducing the use of disposable chopsticks. At the same time, market supervision will be further strengthened, and inspections on reducing the use of disposable chopsticks and advocating non-use of disposable chopsticks will be organized from time to time. Enterprises that provide reusable chopsticks that do not meet the hygiene requirements shall be ordered to make corrections; disposable chopsticks that do not meet the quality and hygiene requirements shall be ordered to delist and follow the supervision to strictly prevent re-flow into the market.

Shaanxi Province bans disposable chopsticks

The Regulations on Promoting Circular Economy in Shaanxi Province will be promulgated and implemented on December 1, 2011. Beginning on December 1, 2011, Shaanxi Province will ban catering companies from providing disposable chopsticks to consumers. Any operator that violates the regulations will be ordered to make corrections by the food and drug supervision and management department. Fines ranging from RMB 2,000 to RMB 2000; self-employed catering operators shall be fined RMB 50 to RMB 200.

Related disputes:

Disposable chopsticks may be more environmentally friendly

Seven Tongji students understood a reason that might be overlooked when they did practical projects: to consider whether an action is environmentally friendly, they must have a diverse and comprehensive perspective; otherwise, environmental protection actions that save one resource may lead to another resource Excessive consumption and harm to the environment

Ordinary, repeated cleaning and use of traditional chopsticks are more environmentally friendly than disposable chopsticks-after many experts repeatedly reminded and spread word of mouth, this is becoming a consensus; some people have called for resistance to the use of disposable chopsticks, and some people bring their own traditional chopsticks. Dinner at the restaurant. However, the 7 sophomores of Tongji University have different opinions after some empirical research.

A group of these students has tried the “Study on Water Footprint and Sustainability of Chopsticks Industry”, and has conducted a year’s investigation, including using this winter vacation to visit hotel kitchens in 7 cities including Shanghai, Jiujiang, and Taiyuan to investigate the washing water of traditional chopsticks Happening. After analyzing a large amount of raw data, these students formed their own “new theory”: from the perspective of chopsticks’ “full life cycle water footprint”, disposable chopsticks may be more environmentally friendly.

Scrambled online without credible evidence

The so-called “full life cycle water footprint” of chopsticks is the sum of the water consumption statistics of the entire process of chopsticks from raw material growth, processing, transportation, and reuse to waste disposal, and then compare disposable chopsticks from the perspective of water consumption and water conservation and the impact of traditional chopsticks on the environment.

Bi Chenyang, who has a strong interest in environmental protection since childhood, is the head of this student research project. He saw a post on the End of the World forum entitled “The Anti-Disposable Chopsticks” slapstick is over, and the netizens caused it to be hotly debated-mainstream views point out that a big tree growing for 20 years can only do 6000-8000 pairs of disposable chopsticks, waste wood and increase deforestation; and the disposable chopsticks need to be bleached, if not properly processed and managed, it will cause damage to the user’s physical health; in addition, its recycling and recycling are now basic Still blank. However, the opinions of the other school are tit-for-tat: the main raw materials of disposable chopsticks are mostly artificially planted economic forests, and the other party’s arguments are wrong; as for the traditional chopsticks that the other party advocates, cleaning requires a lot of water and may cause more damage to the environment.

Bi Chenyang found: “Both sides hold their own words, but they have not come up with clear and reliable arguments.” He and his partners decided to use scientific empirical methods to collect sufficient data to solve this meaningful controversial topic.

To accurately quantify the actual consumption of water and forest resources by chopsticks and compare which is more conducive to environmental protection, sufficient survey data must be available first.

In order to investigate the situation of chopsticks washing water, seven students used the vacation and spare time to visit the hotel kitchen in their hometown and 40 canteens in 17 universities in Shanghai. During the investigation, they encountered many difficulties, such as repeatedly explaining their purpose to the hotel manager, but in fact, only one out of ten hotels often allowed students to enter the kitchen. Group member Wang Lei said that during the investigation of Anji, the place where bamboo chopsticks were produced, they found that the local production of bamboo chopsticks was mainly in private workshops. The boss could not tell the water data during processing, and also refused to enter the production area for investigation.

However, they also received the approval and support of many people. The Anji County Bamboo Industry Association provided a reference method for calculating the water consumption of bamboo growth. Teacher Xu Xiaotian from the School of Environmental Science and Engineering of Tongji University often provided guidance and provided them with 20,000. Research funding.

Diversified perspectives on environmental issues

Traditional chopsticks consume a lot of water during repeated cleaning and use; disposable chopsticks consume a lot of wood and bamboo. Water-saving and forest conservation are both based on the original intention of environmental protection, and they also have practical effects on environmental protection. But which “greener” is the specific choice of chopsticks? How to measure?

The project research of 7 students of Tongji University is still in its infancy, and the conclusion is preliminary. They felt that the biggest gain was that they had realized a previously neglected truth in the survey: to consider whether an action is environmentally friendly and whether an environmental protection plan is scientific and reasonable, it must have a diverse and comprehensive perspective. Otherwise, environmental protection actions to save one kind of resource may cause the excessive consumption of another kind of resource and damage the environment; sometimes the two are more than worth the difference. They plan to build a website in the future to track the water footprint and carbon footprint of various daily activities for environmental protection research.

Knowing this research project of Tongji students, Lu Jianjian, an ecologist and professor of East China Normal University, gave a positive evaluation. He believes that the research idea of ​​this topic is tenable: “First of all, this survey introduced the concept of” water footprint “, and in particular it has an enlightening effect on how to protect the environment in water-scarce areas; secondly, they recommend that The fast-growing bamboo in Fengshui, Jiangnan is made into disposable chopsticks, which can promote the growth of bamboo forests and increase the role of bamboo in sequestering carbon (that is, absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere) in growing areas. “

The farce of “anti-disposable chopsticks” is over.

“A big tree that has been growing for 20 years can only make 6000-8000 pairs of chopsticks.” The sensational claims about disposable chopsticks now seem to have become a “consensus”, and there is a tendency of “everyone shouting.” At a time when “two sessions” are being held in various places, members of the CPPCC in Beijing, Zhejiang, Henan, and other places have once again proposed the “banning of disposable chopsticks”. If nothing else, more representatives and members will submit similar suggestions to the “two sessions” of various regions and even the whole country. But this is a downright lie.

Along with the sound of chainsaws, towering trees fell to the ground, and a pair of disposable chopsticks were delivered to the dining table… The author repeatedly saw this kind of “public interest advertisement” in the media from CCTV to various places. I was convinced that the use of disposable chopsticks is equivalent to destroying the forest. It was not until I had the opportunity to contact the industry insiders that I was fooled for many years.

In fact, no manufacturer will be extravagant enough to use a piece of valuable forest logs to make “6000-8000 pairs” of cheap disposable chopsticks. Those solid woods that are rich in oil are not suitable for making disposable chopsticks. Someone wants to ask, then the wood used to make these disposable chopsticks will not be artificially “transformed”, right? Congratulations, you got it! The main raw material of disposable chopsticks is the artificially planted fast-growing poplar, birch and other economical woods with low texture and less oil, and other waste woods, and some are made of bamboo. It can be seen that the use of disposable chopsticks will not only “destroy the forest”, but will also increase the scale of economic forest trees such as fast-growing poplars.

Fast-growing Yang and other economic forests are fast-growing and high-efficiency. They were once an important “magic weapon” for farmers to develop. Cui He, the former secretary of Suqian City, Jiangsu Province, once edited the “Fast-Growing Yang Allegro”, which was repeatedly broadcast on television, leading farmers out of poverty Get rich. Today, due to the rumors of “anti-disposable chopsticks” and the shrinking production capacity of the paper industry, the market price of fast-growing poplars has been “cut down.” Tens of thousands of tree farmers have suffered heavy losses, and most of them will be forced. No longer nursery.

“Environmentalists” also use a nationalistic statement to render their claims, that is, the so-called forest cover rate is much higher than China’s Japan, South Korea, and other countries do not produce disposable chopsticks, but import from China (European and American households rarely use chopsticks, and naturally cannot talk about the problem of producing disposable chopsticks), thus adding a layer of demonization to the disposable chopsticks industry. In fact, the real reason is very simple. It is precise because Japan’s agricultural land is limited and the price of agricultural products is high. Of course, there is no condition to plant a large amount of fast-growing trees such as fast-growing poplars, so it is necessary to import disposable chopsticks from China. China’s export of this product is no different from other agricultural and sideline products such as garlic and sausages, and it does not involve the question of “damaging China and Japan.”

As for the production of disposable chopsticks, it is complete nonsense to say that certain water and energy are consumed in the process. Do n’t you consume water and energy without washing and disinfecting chopsticks or using those “sanitary tableware”? In the end, is it a large amount of fumigation or is it more water-saving and energy-saving? Although improperly stored or expired disposable chopsticks may be infected with germs, are non-disposable chopsticks less likely to be infected with germs or even the hepatitis virus?

In fact, disposable chopsticks not only greatly facilitate the majority of diners, reduce the risk of infection with various germs and hepatitis viruses, reduce the water, electricity, detergents, disinfectants, etc. consumed by repeated cleaning and disinfection of chopsticks, but also pull upstream The scale of fast-growing poplar and other economic forests is planted, and the waste products used downstream are excellent raw materials for papermaking. As long as it is well managed, it can develop into a real green environmental protection industry.

Of course, disposable chopsticks also have their shortcomings: First, poor management of bleaching and disinfection may cause some pollution to the environment and may cause harm to users’ health; second, there is a lack of regulation on recycling, so that a large number of waste products are not Fully utilized and increased waste. All these issues should call on the government to strengthen management, but a simple “ban” will not only destroy the entire industry, affect millions of tree farmers and workers, cause inconvenience to diners, but also destroy the production of economic forest trees such as fast-growing poplars. If the market demand for other non-disposable wooden chopsticks, iron chopsticks, etc. rises, it will actually cause real destruction and waste of forest resources and other resources.

The most positive thing about the “chopstick ban” issue is that the propaganda methods of organizations such as “Green Peace” are very suspicious-if the general public, including myself, do not understand the true origin of disposable chopsticks, is it normal that these ” “Professionals” haven’t gone deep into companies and fields to investigate? There is every reason to question that these so-called “environmental protection organizations” are actually very clear that disposable chopsticks are not harmful to native forests, but they still use slogans such as “Save Forest Chopsticks” to fool the public and fool the world! They mobilized students and used the media to label catering establishments using disposable chopsticks and carry out scandalous propaganda, thereby intimidating the society to “ban chopsticks” to realize their “self-evident” demands. This kind of missionary propaganda is actually anti-intellectual and anti-public good intoxication.

Finally, let’s talk about the industries that have caused great damage to forest resources-luxury goods such as high-end solid wood flooring, solid wood furniture, and those ancient tree logs transplanted in high-end communities. Not to mention how much of the “imported Brazil” wood that floor and furniture manufacturers claim is actually coming from China ’s forests. These high-end commodities that actually cut logs as materials are competing to promote the “environmental protection” slogan, and the public and “green” Organizations such as “Peace” are indifferent to it, but wantonly demonize disposable chopsticks that do not use logs.

Analyze this phenomenon, on the one hand, because the former interest group is too strong, especially with a strong relationship with the media, while the latter hurts only those “silent” tree farmers who cannot defend themselves and have no spokespersons and those who cannot afford to advertise. Enterprises, small businessmen; on the other hand, because opposition to solid wood flooring and solid wood furniture will really touch the enjoyment of high-end consumption of a considerable number of “social elites”, although they know the harm, they dare not offend the “anger” of “nobles”, and Those who just raise their hands can show the so-called “environmental protection spirit”, so they must use rumors to “preach” even though they know their errors. Regarding the propaganda slogan of this “environmental protection organization”, it is better for everyone to keep a bit of doubt, so as not to cause others to yell at each other and to deceive the country and the people.

Disposable chopsticks are not necessarily clean and hygienic. After repeated use, if not disinfected thoroughly, some infectious diseases may be brought to others.


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MingZhu Chopsticks
MingZhu Chopsticks
China Chopsticks Manufacturers