Wednesday, November 5, 2008
The Japanese are chewing their way through twelve billion pairs of throw away chopsticks a year. This, says Any Crump, a reporter of the third World Compass News Feature Agency of Luxembourg, amounts to the wood used in 12,000 average –sized family houses. Waribashi, the disposable wooden chopsticks common used in Japan, have conservationist up in arms. The thousands of tons of wood that Japan’s 120 million throw out after each meal is making a quite a dent in the world’s forests, they say. The Japanese demand for wood, says Crump, has been largely responsible for the destruction of half the hardwood forest in the Philippines in about one-third of the forests in Indonesia. Japanese conservationists are now urging dinners to refuse to accept waribashi and instead to use their own non-disposable chopsticks.