Taiwan phasing out disposable chopsticks

Well, even Taiwan is now more environmentally progressive than the US.

About 10,000 convenience stores in Taiwan will join an environmental push by withholding disposable chopsticks from hordes of customers used to getting them with take-out meals, Reuters reports.

From next Wednesday in Taipei, and by July 1 on the rest of the island, four convenience store chains will give out the wooden single-use chopsticks only on request. Taiwan’s small restaurants also will be encouraged, with the enticement of saving money, to phase out disposable chopsticks, claiming that “conservation is getting to be mainstream” and that it shouldn’t be an issue.

Conservation efforts are happening elsewhere in Asia. For example, China banned production of ultra-thin plastic bags in May and activists in Japan are pushing for a reduction of wooden chopsticks, which are already made from recycled chips. I travel with my own chopsticks anyway, so it would be a non-issue for me.

I wish conservation was “becoming mainstream” in the US. I think the minute Americans get “forced” to carry reusable chopsticks or forks for take-out lunch, there might be riots in the streets.

[via Asiaone]