Should disposable chopsticks be banned in China?

Essay by tthu2University, Bachelor'sA-, April 2004

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Today, if you travel to Southeast Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam and China, you will notice that most of the people are using chopsticks as their common utensils. Chopsticks are two sticks of wood, usually 20 cm long that both sticks are moved together in your hand as you pick up a morsel. The Chinese were the inventors of chopsticks.

The chopstick manufactures tried to create various form of chopsticks in order to attract consumers. Disposable chopsticks were a new and well-designed product in the early 1980s in China. They became popular overnight in every restaurant and exported overseas at that time. Restaurants cannot operate without them and consumers cannot stop using them. However, this kind of chopsticks is made of wood and people chopped down many trees to produce them.

Therefore, the disposable chopsticks should be banned in China, though the chopsticks industry made a large amounts of benefits for the Chinese.

This essay will present the reasons why the government should ban disposable chopsticks and will suggest some efficient ways to solve this problem. Firstly, I will introduce some brief background about chopsticks follow by the discussion of the environmental problems caused by disposable chopsticks. And then, people's behaviors toward the disposable chopsticks will be presented. In the last section, this essay will give some suggestion on how to control the problem.

Historical background

Chopstick is a pair of slender sticks used as eating utensils chiefly in the Orient. Usually eight to ten inches long and rectangular with a blunt end, chopstick was invented in Shang dynasty around 1500 B.C. and had spread from China to Vietnam, Korea and Japan (Whitaker, 2001: A03), it has more than 3000 years history (Li, 2001: 1). ' China is the main producer, consumer and exporter of wood chopsticks...