Lifestyle & Belief

Got wood? China's chopstick demand fells world's trees


China imports about 180 million cubic meters of wood. Wooden, disposable chopsticks have helped drive a huge spike in wood consumption in China.


Aaron Tam

China's disposable chopstick demand has spiked imports of foreign wood.

The country is already the world's largest importer of wood, a figure that has tripled since 2000.

AFP said that China imported around 180 million cubic meters of wood in 2011.

China makes about 80 billion chopsticks per year said forest industry executive and legislator Bo Guangxin, said the Daily News.

Guangxin was speaking at China's annual parliament session, which mainly rubber stamps decisions already made by the Communist party.

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The legislator recommended metal flatware to deal with the problem.

"We must change our consumption habits and encourage people to carry their own tableware," said Guangxin, reported the Daily News.

AFP reported that in 2006 China slapped a five percent tax on wooden chopsticks and wood floor panels.

Still, the country's demand consumes about 20 million trees per year.