Government and Policy

China moves to curb use of disposable chopsticks

Updated: 2010-06-23 14:10
Large Medium Small

BEIJING - Companies making disposable chopsticks will face local government restrictions aimed at decreasing the use of the throwaway utensils, according to a joint circular issued here Wednesday.

The production, circulation and recycling of disposable chopsticks should be more strictly supervised, stated the circular issued by the Ministry of Commerce and five other ministries and government administrations.

It said restaurants should prioritize offering diners with clean recyclable chopsticks rather than disposable ones.

Calls have been growing in recent years to stop the use of disposable chopsticks.

Though the government has never released statistics on disposable chopsticks consumption, some estimate 45 billion pairs are used and thrown away every year -- equivalent to 25 million fully grown trees.

The latest call for reducing the use of disposable chopsticks was part of the Chinese government's energy-saving campaign this month.

The State Council, or China's cabinet, launched a campaign on June 10, calling on government agencies to save more electricity, petroleum and water to help the country meet its emissions targets.