This post is part of KQED’s Do Now U project. Do Now U is a biweekly activity for students and the public to engage and respond to current issues using social media. Do Now U aims to build civic engagement and digital literacy for learners of all ages. This post was written by Mai Hagihara, Anh Nguyen, Liza Simon, Manami Tokumoto and Yo Inoue, students at University of Hawaii at Manoa.


Featured Media Resource
VIDEO: JMC – Kent State

International Storytelling – Chopsticks
This video, produced by a student at Kent State, describes why disposable chopsticks became popular in China and how they affect the environment.


Do Now U

Would you support a ban on disposable chopsticks? Why or why not? #DoNowUChopsticks


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To respond to the Do Now U, you can comment below or post your response on Twitter. Just be sure to include #DoNowUChopsticks and @KQEDedspace in your posts.


Learn More About the Debate on Disposable Chopsticks

Eighty billion pairs of disposable chopsticks are used (and thrown away) annually worldwide. Why have disposable chopsticks become so popular across the globe? They are cheap, lightweight and easy to use, even for those who did not grow up with chopsticks at the family dinner table. The popularity of disposable wooden chopsticks fuels a huge demand not just for the items but for raw materials that go into their making. In China and Japan, major manufacturers annually harvest more than 20 million trees to collect the raw materials for making disposable chopsticks. If this trend continues, it will accelerate deforestation, which will have environmental consequences across the globe. Therefore, many people with environmental concerns would like to ban the use of disposable chopsticks in favor of reusable chopsticks. Others say that disposable chopsticks are more sanitary and can be manufactured from wood that would otherwise be wasted. As consumer demand for disposable chopsticks continues to grow, so will the debate about their use.

Why Ban Disposable Chopsticks?
Supporters of a ban on disposable wooden chopsticks say it makes good environmental sense to switch to reusable chopsticks. They say that as recently as 2009, Chinese officials estimated that their country alone was producing about 57 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks annually, equal to about 3.8 million trees. Supporters of the ban say that this loss of forest has dire consequences for the entire planet—not just for China and Japan, where most disposable chopsticks are made and used. Deforestation leads to a worldwide loss of biodiversity, loss of wood as a major resource, erosion of fertile soil, alterations in climate, and an increased potential for massive landslides and severe flooding. In fact, proponents of the ban are quick to point out that the entire ecosystem depends on the vitality of forests everywhere. They argue that it is a travesty when forests are being felled to make disposable chopsticks and other items that are discarded after a single use. Disposable chopsticks are certainly a convenience, but this convenience comes at a cost.

The growing demand for chopsticks overseas—and a freeze by China on cutting their own forests—spurred chopstick manufacturing plants in the United States, and the harvesting of domestic forests for raw materials. In late 2010, a chopstick manufacturing company opened in central Georgia. The desire for disposable chopsticks worldwide was so high that they had difficulty keeping up with the demand. Though the company has since shut down, it cleared forests of poplar and sweet gum trees from the region to make the chopsticks. Proponents of a ban say this is a cautionary tale of what could happen on many continents, if there is not concerted action to switch to reusable chopsticks.

Due to deforestation, many people support using reusable chopsticks (Clare Black/Flickr)

Proponents of the ban also argue that China, the world’s biggest supplier of disposable wooden chopsticks, is now acknowledging that the business profits are not worth the devastation of our forests. According to Bo Guangxin of China’s Jilin Forestry Industry Group, only 4,000 chopsticks can be created from a 20-year-old tree. At this rate, around 400 million trees would be destroyed in the next 20 years in order to produce disposable chopsticks. Those who argue for the ban say that is imperative to understand that this loss of trees also contributes to global warming.

Another issue raised by people who are calling for a ban on disposable wooden chopsticks involves claims that the utensils may be unsanitary depending how and where they are made. Critics say that the standards of production in China are too lax to ensure that wooden chopsticks aren’t harmful to human health.

Why Do Some Oppose a Ban?
Opponents of a ban on disposable wooden chopsticks say that these utensils are more hygienic and that their reusable counterparts pose a risk to human health. They point to the increased use of disposable chopsticks during the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Asian countries, when people were worried about the disease spreading due to improper cleaning of reusable chopsticks. While the SARS threat was brought under control by cooperation of international public health authorities, many consumers who experienced the threat of SARS still argue that it is best to err on the side of caution when human health is concerned. They feel that the best way to ensure that diseases doesn’t spread via previously used chopsticks is to stick with the disposable variety.

Some opponents of the ban also contend that the restaurant industry would unfairly be burdened with economic setbacks that would eventually work against environmental interests.  They say that the reusable chopsticks are cost-prohibitive for restaurants and that the restaurants would then pass on that higher cost to consumers. Disposable chopsticks have also become the convenient and affordable choice for consumers. So, opponents to a ban say that prohibiting their use in the commercial sector would not necessarily affect the market for chopsticks in private homes where regulation would be difficult to enforce. And, even though disposable chopsticks are responsible for deforestation, the utensils are but one small contributor to this problem—agriculture, ranching, commercial logging and mining industries have much more impact.  

In addition, opponents of a chopsticks ban say that disposable wooden chopsticks can even be eco-friendly. For example, Japan’s Eco Media Foundation says that many of the nation’s forests are overgrown, and making disposable chopsticks out of trees that need to be cut down saves forests and leads to a healthier ecosystem. Another argument is simply that people should be free to choose whatever type of chopsticks they prefer.

So, what do you think? Should the world continue to use disposable chopsticks or would it be better to shift to reusable ones? Why or why not?


More Resources

Video: CBS
Chinese Chopsticks Made in America
In this video from 2011, hear how Georgia Chopsticks created local jobs by by manufacturing and selling wooden chopsticks to China.

Article: The Washington Post
China’s Disposable Chopstick Addiction Is Destroying Its Forests
Read about the impact of disposable wooden chopsticks on China’s forests.

Video: Aloha Nature
Disposable Vs. Reusable Chopsticks
View a PSA produced by the authors of this Do Now U post about why people should use reusable chopsticks.


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Would You Support a Ban on Disposable Chopsticks? 14 July,2017SENCER

  • Jonny Ballesteros

    I personally believe that banning the disposal of chopsticks will simply lead back to having another health concern rise up. Such as the one that happened before. Putting someones health in danger from getting rid of something so simple is not worth it. The whole reason why we got rid of using the same chopsticks was because a disease was spreading worldwide from it. Only solution I can think of would be getting rid of chopsticks in general and sticking to forks and spoons, but chopsticks also hold tradition and certain ceremonies that are practiced with them. We would not want to take that away from them. http://www.utne.com/environment/sticks-and-moans
    #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCmstArgs

    • Tt

      I understand that traditions are important and that cultures should be allowed to practice those traditions but the amount of damage done to the environment by using disposable chopsticks is ridiculous. Plenty of restaurants and establishments use reusable utensils already without causing massive health issues or spreading of diseases. If we switched disposable chopsticks to reusable chopsticks instead it would drastically reduce the amount of trees being used and help to slow or stop the effects of deforestation. #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

  • Azura Lelaña Tallon

    I believe that a ban on disposable chopsticks makes as much sense as banning plastic bags, AKA tons of sense. Though the text below the video explains that a ban on disposable chopsticks would be a financial burden, the restaurant owner in the video explains how reusing his chopsticks actually saves him money. I understand the fear of possible health risks, but I don’t find that an adequate argument. All around the world we reuse utensils every day ie the cutlery in your home and other restaurants. Why are we further compromising the already endangered environment, instead of shifting focus to hygiene protocol in these restaurants? If people are so conscious of health risks a possible solution is bringing your own chopsticks. There is also the possibility that disposable chopsticks are being manufactured unsafely.This video brings to light the idea that even disposable chopsticks can be dangerous to your health. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zIPTmSbJKk

  • Lee V

    I think it’s an easy decision to ban disposable chopsticks. They offer little in terms of environmental benefits and instead have negative consequences. We banned other items like this in many major cities, I don’t think chopsticks would represent a difference. It is probably a better business model to have reusable ones anyways. I know in my kitchen if we have those plastic cutlery sets around, we end up with a lot more trash and waste then if were using washable ones. #DoNowChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

    • Mackenna Neal

      Yes let’s just ban it all and start cleaning up the planet! #DoNowChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs @disqus_yrY0hRfjE4:disqus

    • Luke Williams

      I think we should ban plastic silverware if we are going to ban chopsticks. Both are doing harm to the environment. Personally i have a couple reusable chopsticks and they do me well. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • Mackenna Neal

    I would definitely support a ban on disposable chopsticks. The issue of disposable chopsticks can be compared to plastic or paper bags either being banned or costing 10 cents in California. I believe this was a great step forward in reducing the amount of waste people make. Why not ban all disposable items besides chopsticks as well? Styrofoam, plastic utensils, paper plates, etc can all easily be cut out of our lives. If we want to live on this planet for another 1000 year we need to make some drastic changes and we need to do them quick! #DoNowChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs @disqus_yrY0hRfjE4:disqus

    • Zoe Atava

      I agree that we need to be careful about our waste and use on this world in order to stay here for years to come. However, unlike plastic bags, chopsticks are complexly biodegradable. We’re able to recycle them and have no waste or trace on this planet. As well as trees being cut down, many trees are planted in its replacement. We should be able to utilize the resources that we have for us, without taking advantage. I believe that by recycling, we’re not taking advantage of the abundance of trees and its resources. #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

  • Nanci Contreras

    How is this even a debate at this point?! 3.8 million trees?!! Are you kidding? This is ridiculous. How can we prioritize CONVENIENCE over enforcing sustainable practices that could not only help reduce the effects of deforestation but through time, maybe even reverse some of our already GIANT ecological footprint. Disposable chopsticks are a luxury our planet cannot afford. #DoNowChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs @Sue Peterson

    • Brigitte Dahrouj

      I agree, but I think we should get rid of all disposable utensils. The plastic is terrible for the environment in disposable spoons, forks, and knives. I even think we should ban foam and paper disposable cups, plates, and bowls. You’re right, our planet can’t afford it. #DoNowChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

  • Brigitte Dahrouj

    Yes! I don’t just think we should ban chopsticks but also plastic disposable silverware and foam cups. They are all terrible for the environment. If your concerned, think about how much cheaper and better for the environment it is to reuse and wash metal silverware than it is to continuously purchase disposable silverware. If you’re wondering if there’s an environmentally safer solution here is a video on these edible spoons: https://youtu.be/r4Cc5zmy0eY
    This is a great alternative. #DoNowChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

    • Dollie Partida

      I like that you included this video. I have seen this video before and it’s one way to reduce plastic and in this case chopstick waste. I think it will definitely take sometime before more edible utensils are made and begin being implemented but it is a good first step. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • Tt

    We need to switch to reusable chopsticks. 3.4 million trees are being destroyed for convince and laziness of businesses. The culture’s right to use chopsticks is a relevant argument but in order to save the planet we need to make the switch. Far to many restaurants use reusable utensils with little to no health risk due to the high quality of preventative measures taken. If we implement similar policies the health issues would be minimized and the switch would have no position. #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

    • Yasmin Gonzalez

      I agree trees are being destroyed and it is leading to climate change, flooding and mudslides etc. I think we as humans think that nature is at our disposal and we are superior to it but we are wrong because everything we do to nature we do to ourselves. Restaurant owners should give the extra effort of using reusable chopsticks or other alternatives if it means that our environment will be affected less.
      #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

  • Zoe Atava

    No, I don’t necessarily believe that there should be a ban on disposable chopsticks. I believe that it should be up to the business owner to make these decisions for their own business. In the long run, the purchase of reusable chopsticks may be cost efficient to a very vibrant and popular restaurant. However, the restaurant owner is now liable for any sanitary or health issues caused by their reusable chopsticks. There are many movements to preserve trees as well as laws and bans on the amount of trees that we are able to use and cut down. With that in mind, the use of wood over plastic is immensely beneficial to our earth seeing how biodegradable it is. Waste wouldn’t really be waste at all as it would just return back to the environment. Business owners should make that decision about chopsticks on their own. https://ww2.kqed.org/education/2017/05/10/would-you-support-a-ban-on-disposable-chopsticks/ #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

    • Brian Luong

      I agree that it should be up to the business owners as well. It’s not fair to require owners to use a certain type of utensil and it should also be up to the owner to have proper cleaning techniques. I think that instead of just using disposable chopsticks, spend more time training employees and have daily inspections in order to be sure that everything is running the way it should. Banning chopsticks could lead to a ban of many other disposable utensils as well. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • Yasmin Gonzalez

    Yes, I would support the ban on reusable chopsticks because if the evidence shows that the extent of deforestation for this product is on a dangerous level in regards to our environment then we should give them up. If we as consumers refuse to use reusable chopsticks then there will be no need to produce them anymore. At this point refusing to use reusable is out of convenience not necessity we as humans believe we are superior or above nature and that it is at our disposal but we are wrong. We are being selfish when we cut down these forests even if we look past the harms it is doing to the environment it ultimately harming us as well because its the planet that we live on and when we harm our planet we harm ourselves. I think that retardant owners should put in the extra effort of having reusable chopsticks because their work will outweigh the risks of deforestation. http://www.ecopedia.com/environment/how-wooden-chopsticks-are-killing-nature/
    #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

    • Grace Gerberich

      I agree with your statements about banning chopsticks according to the level of deforestation associated with the producing of chopsticks. Banning them would be a large step in the right direction to saving our planets trees. #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

  • Grace Gerberich

    I would support a ban on disposable chopsticks. At this point we are already cutting down so many trees for such wasteful reasons, it would be beneficial for us to to cut out one of the reasons why we are killing so many trees. A great step towards helping this issue is the same as banning plastic or paper bags or making them cost 10 cents which is what we do in California. Cutting out chopsticks from our lives would not be a huge issue. We if work towards getting rid styrofoam, plastic utensils, paper plates we will be moving toward a better planet. #DoNowChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

  • Brian Luong

    I don’t think that there should be a ban on disposable chopsticks. There is no sense in just banning chopsticks when there are many other things such as forks, spoons, and sporks that would need to be disposed as well with that logic. I believe that we shouldn’t ban them but put more emphasis on proper cleaning techniques. Restaurants should have daily inspections in order to check for anything dirty or malfunctioning in the kitchen or the dining room. Restaurants should also put more emphasis on using regular chopsticks or even eco-friendly chopsticks. With a quick search online, one can find chopsticks made from recycled rice husks or other eco-friendly materials which will help the environment. When eating take-out, maybe skip on the reusable chopsticks and wait until you get home to use your own chopsticks as well. #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs
    http://www.greenecoservices.com/eco-friendly-chopsticks/

    • Morgan Reams

      I agree with you. I don’t think that we should ban disposable chopsticks but something does need to be done. Restaurants have to clean their utensils more effectively or we should make more eco-friendly alternatives that doesn’t involve us cutting down so many trees. #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

  • Dollie Partida

    I think we shouldn’t completely ban reusable chopsticks. Banning them would be unfair because we haven’t yet banned plastic cups, forks, spoons or knives. It would be like picking on a culture for using out of the “norm” utensils. Yes chopsticks are using lot’s of trees and we cannot afford to loose so many trees. This is another reason why we should limit the use of one time usable chopsticks and buy some you can wash and reuse. Making sure you clean them properly should be common sense. Limiting the use of them is what is ideal. Making a law like CA did on plastic bags would be a great way. We implemented a 10 cents fee which encourages people to bring their own bag. This article http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-beyond-bag-ban-20161121-story.html talks more about the benefit and what we shouldn’t do. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

    • Christiana Manzanares

      I disagree with you. I think that we should ban them. But I do agree that it is unfair. So I propose the idea that we ban all disposable utensils. Plastic cups, forks, plates, chopsticks…everything. We are not thinking about our environment and what we are doing to it simple because we want “convenience” items. #DoNowUChopsticks #myCMSTArgs

  • Hannah Fulks

    I believe that we shouldn’t completely ban these chopsticks. I believe that we cannot ban these until we ban more detrimental objects, such as plastic throw away utensils and cups/plates. Restaurants would be burdened with finding another solution, and would, in turn, be more costly. If conservation and trash are the main concern, then plastic and styrofoam should be banned long before wooden chopsticks are banned. http://www.earthresource.org/campaigns/capp/capp-styrofoam.html According to Time magazine, every year, 8 metric tons of plastic ends up in our oceans. http://time.com/3707112/plastic-in-the-ocean/ Plastic needs to be addressed before wooden chopsticks are.

    #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

    • Stone Dennison

      I agree, we should work on making this world cleaner, and become more sustainable. TO do this we should make plastic more expensive, while creating barriers for companies to use bamboo. If we created taxes, food establishments would have incentive to use reusable chopsticks or use different utensils. The fact is that resuable chopsticks are a risk to the enviornement, when there are other alternatives. read this article : http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1958401-5-reasons-not-to-use-disposable-chinese-made-chopsticks/ #myCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • Morgan Reams

    I personally do not think that we should ban disposable chopsticks but there does need to be a solution that will cut down on waste. Reusable chopsticks aren’t something that most people have in their homes and rely on the disposable ones provided by restaurants. Though these utensils are creating a lot of waste for the environment they can definitely be repurposed unlike most plastic forks, knives and spoons. Another problem with banning disposable chopsticks is the lack of cleanliness of some reusable ones. I know I’ve been to restaurants where they leave the chopsticks out on the table all day without washing or replacing.There’s obviously no way to make every restaurant change their standards and cleaning habits. Personally, I think we should implement a tax for them like with plastic bags instead of removing them completely. Making someone have to pay a fee for the disposable chopsticks may differ people from using them but also still make them available if wanted. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

    • Janette Estrada

      I agree that the ban of disposable chopsticks will only add a bigger risk the health of others by improper sanitation.In addition if we got rid the disposable chopsticks them we would only add more to the land waste masses where finding a proper way to biodegrade is difficult. Disposable chopsticks would offer a more efficient way to cut overall cost to budget for both the buyer and the consumer, thus making it a smart choice. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • Luke Williams

    I think this is an over looked problem but we do have bigger issues like plastic utensils. I don’t think we should ban disposable chop sticks because we only really come across them from restaurants. In y family we use disposable chop sticks and its probably solves a ton in materials over the years. I don’t think we should ban them we should just cut down the usage.
    #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • Stone Dennison

    I understand that chopsticks are deeply engraved in certain cultures, but that does not mean we can change. Argument stating traditions as a reason are using a fallacy, appeal to tradition fallacy. I believe we should advise people to buy lightweight, reusable chopsticks to prevent an increase in waste. Same goes for food establishments, they should give the option of clean, reusable chopsticks. If foreign countries learned to use forks, spoons, etc.. they would not need to use them any longer. This is a long shot based on cultural traditions, but this statement does not create a sound argument. #DoNowUChopsticks #myCMSTArgs

    • Braden D

      Most of these cultures at home will use traditional chopsticks, not the wooden ones we often see when we eat out. I believe restaurants need to be the ones to change their practices, not everyday people.

  • Summer Berglund

    you can use chopsticks without making them disposable. There are such thing as disposable chopsticks and I feel that if people used those instead, we’d be able to take more steps towards getting rid of things like plastic utensils. Chopsticks are a huge part in many asian cultures and I understand that it is very important, but we could be proposing that we use disposable ones instead.

    • Lauren Davis

      I thought of the exact same thing! use disposable chopsticks or come up with a different way to make them. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks @2ndheartmom

  • Braden D

    I think that it would be a huge turning point to put a ban on disposable chopsticks. I think it is even crazier that a country like China would step up and say that the business profits are not worth the deforestation. That is an example that every other country should live by. I think this would not happen over night. Think of a store like safeway or wholefoods who always has sushi to go. How would we replace those chopsticks? by starting small. There are nearly 4,000 sushi restaurants in the US alone and if there was a requirement to create reusable chopsticks I think the environmental impact would be massive. Chopsticks probably are not the largest issue with the sushi industry however. A large number of restaurants around the world obtain their fish illegally. This has caused massive amounts of over fishing across all of the oceans. I personally believe that making chopsticks reusable would be a huge step in the right direction but there is a much larger issue at hand involving the style of eating that the “chopstick” industry caters to.

    http://www.statisticbrain.com/sushi-industry-statistics/

  • Christiana Manzanares

    I would support a ban on disposable chopsticks. I think that big businesses are using up so much of planets resources without thinking of the future consequences of our current actions. We are not thinking of our future generations or the planets health. I believe that banning disposable chopsticks we would need to also ban plastic forks and other utensils. If we are going to ban one disposable item we need to ban all of them. Although chopsticks are a huge part of some cultures we can make metal reusable chopsticks instead. Those can be at restaurants instead of hundreds of thousands of wasted wood that we are using for them. http://www.utne.com/environment/sticks-and-moans #DoNowUChopsticks #myCMSTArgs

  • almond

    I’m pretty sure banning plastic utensils should be a priority over chopsticks. At least chopsticks are biodegradable, and while the factory in Georgia might have been an example of clearing natural forests, many companies probably have their own tree farms that grow fast and can then be harvested for making product. Similarly, in that case we should ban the creation of books and all other paper goods, as those use raw materials more intensely and generally require more advanced processing. Chopsticks have minimal standards they need to adhere to and issues with bio-degradation aren’t due to the chopsticks, but the plates, bowls, and cups that they end up in the trash with.

    While it’s important to pay attention to the crass use of natural resources to make utensils that are easily supplemented with reusable ones (compared to forks and spoons, chopsticks are much more compact and easier to clean. Less nooks and crannies like with a fork and lack of irregular shape means there are few areas where forgotten food can live to allow for bacteria growth), we should pay more attention to what’s worse: a bunch of used chopsticks in the ocean, or a bunch of used plastic utensils in other creature’s habitat. Besides, once you start using resources that aren’t renewable, such as trees, you’ll just end up with companies that make plastic chopsticks. I pray to whatever is up in the heavens that that day doesn’t come.

    • Jace Cuneo

      The plastic utensil issue you mention is very interesting, but the issue with disposable chopsticks is the deforestation that occurs. Just for China to keep up with the demand for their own people, 100 acres of trees are the cost PER DAY. That’s why we are now deforesting are own land which, in my opinion, leaves a bigger environmental footprint that plastic utensils going in the trash can.

    • Josue Quezada

      I agree with your argument that the real issue is chopsticks that are made of plastics and metals that can be difficult to biodegrade in landfills. Although there are many trees being cut down for the creation of chopsticks there is also a large amount of trees being planted like you have stated above. disposable chopsticks are the least of our worries and those chopsticks that are reusable that fill our landfills are of greater issue in the long term. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • Jace Cuneo

    I support the ban of disposable chopsticks, especially in America. To keep up with the demand of pointless wooden chopsticks, the deforestation is just too much. According to http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/15/opinion/la-oe-0815-gardner-chopsticks-20100815 , China has to deforestion 100 acres of trees every 24 hours just to keep up with the demand in their own country. In America, most restaurants have silverware and disposable chopsticks is something that you can choose to use. Now we are deforesting our own land just so we can have that option. We are not in China, were SARS broke out in the early 2000’s, when this idea really took off to prevent the disease. I think that is has simply came down to laziness and convenience. We need to stop filling up the trash cans with chopsticks and disposable utensils.
    #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • Josue Quezada

    I would not be in favor of a ban on disposable chopsticks. Based on the research that was provided in the article, millions of trees are being cut annually to provide the raw material for these eating utensils. These millions of trees affect our environment in a negative way and create large amounts of pollution during the production process of making chopsticks. In thousands of restaurants these disposable chopsticks are used and are being used because they are cheap and easy to handle when compared to metal or plastic versions. However, switching to reusable chopsticks can also cause a serious impact on our environment. The two main reusable versions of chopsticks are metal and plastic, both of which require more time, energy, and resources to produce. These reusable chopsticks could create far more pollution for the environment and result in greater numbers in landfills. In addition to the high cost of making reusable chopsticks you have to depend on a limited amount of resources to create them, with disposable ones you can regrow the trees you cut and develop a reusable cycle of raw materials. #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

    • Keely Baccus

      There are reusable chopsticks made of wood. If you buy reusable wood chopsticks then you aren’t dealing with plastic or metal and you cut down less trees. Plus there would be that much more waste with plastic and metal because the whole point is that you don’t throw them away unless they break. #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

  • Courtney German

    Ban the plastic utensils first. wooden chopsticks are biodegradable so they’re really less harmful than plastic. Pay attention to the larger issue

    • eric m

      totally agree its just a way to cover/hide something else #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

    • j tech46

      I agree. As much harm as disposable chopsticks might cause, at least they’re actually biodegradable. Plastic utensils are way worse, and they aren’t going away any time soon.
      #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

    • Hillary Clintub

      Make everyone carry their dirty reusable eating utensils around with them. Convenience is highly overrated.

  • Keely Baccus

    I support the ban. If the reason they started to be used was due to a disease that may have been spread from poor dish washing habits then bowls, plates, and cups would also be to blame. Disposable chopsticks cause deforestation and can easily break and cause splinters. Regular chopstick are much nicer, and easier to eat with. It would also be cheaper to have one set of reusable chopsticks than having to continue buying disposable #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • Omar Sanchez

    I support this ban 100%. Although I think the bigger picture in all this would be to ban the use of plastic utensils the cost to keep the supply and demand of disposable chopsticks is ridiculous and not to mention the effect deforestation from keeping disposable chopsticks. I say if one of the main concerns is hygiene from the SARS epidemic, we should involve the health department to impose bigger fines, more routine inspections to make sure that everything is up to code to make reusable chopsticks part of the norm again.
    #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • Janette Estrada

    I would not support the ban of disposable chopsticks. According to the text itself, a whole multitude of tress are being cut to provide the raw material as the main source of material for these utensils. How is this important? Well, millions of trees affect our environment by creating large amounts of pollution during the making of chopsticks. Chopsticks sometimes gives style to restaurants, for example a Chinese gourmet. If this trend is popular by bring tradition to the kitchen, then what better than to have access to a cheaper more affordable option that would not first hand effect our environment like wood chop sticks too. To add on disposable chops would be a smart way to prevent diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome that outbroke in 2013 due to lack of sanitation in the cleaning process of metal and plastic chopsticks. The high cost of making reusable chopsticks depends on limited resources, likewise disposable ones will be from re grown tress dependent of raw materials that will essentially reduce landfill. #DoNowUChopsticks #MyCMSTArgs

  • eric m

    see now this one of the problems i have with the news and government when it comes to making nothing into something. what harm can disposable chopsticks can really do; i understand there is a lot of waste that comes along with it be i do not believe that i cant be huge problem to the united states #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • j tech46

    I would support a regulation of chopstick production but not a full ban. If excess vegetation is used and trees that are cut down are replaced, I don’t see this as a very big issue for the environment. It just can’t be allowed to get out of hand. Also, I don’t think that improper sanitation of reusable chopsticks is a legitimate reason for a ban. That’s a separate issue and it’s more to do with carelessness or a lack of training of the employees. If proper care is taken, both disposable and non-disposable chopsticks are equally viable.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/15/opinion/la-oe-0815-gardner-chopsticks-20100815

    #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUChopsticks

  • Hillary Clintub

    Think of all the jobs that would be lost.

  • Hillary Clintub

    ALL chopsticks are disposable while at the same time ALL chopsticks are reusable. Those “disposable” chopsticks can easily be washed and reused. It’s just a matter of whether people want to.

  • Commentor

    How do you write a story about disposable chopsticks without using the word “bamboo”?

  • NorCal Bohemian

    KQED “Would You Support a Ban on Disposable Chopsticks?”
    NO! This is a ridiculous proposition. Plastic chopsticks are – Petrochemical plastic! How is that environmental? Plus, they are slippery – and much harder to use because the food slips right out of them. Nice wood chopsticks can’t be sterilized – and so not usable in a restaurant. The reusable ones are either bamboo or cheap, fast growing pulp wood. They are not cutting down old growth forests for these. They are raising them like crops. Who comes up with such idiotic ideas?

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