China produces and discards more than 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks every year, cutting down as many as 25 million trees in the process. Another 15 billion pairs are exported to Japan, South Korea and other countries.
Production of disposable chopsticks poses a serious threat to the survival of forests, so rather than using disposable ones, carry your own reusable chopsticks with you. If you do use disposable chopsticks, ask for ones made out of bamboo (竹, zhú). Bamboo is a more environmentally friendly alternative to wood – it is in ample supply, grows quickly and easily, and is not prone to warping. Greenpeace China is currently running an “I’m not disposable” chopsticks campaign.
For more information on what you can do, go to http://act.greenpeace.org.cn/kxd/ (Chinese only), or www.greenpeace.org/china/en.