Interesting article found in the Times Of India, on Mar 11 2013 (I’ll provide a link to that article below). It was about chopstick production in China. What are Chopsticks? They are two narrow and straight sticks of wood. Both are held by the fingers of one hand and are used to pickup food from a dish and transport it to one’s mouth.
Visit a local Chinese Restaurant and many will provide you with disposable chopsticks. Lots of fun for Westerners to try. Surprisingly, Chopsticks can be very efficient once you get the hand of using them.
The article gives a few figures about Disposable Chopstick production in China. They quote 80 Billion pairs produced yearly. That’s 160 billion chopsticks.
How many trees would need to be cut down, to supply enough wood to maintain China’s yearly production of disposable chopsticks? A Forestry Industry Chairman is quoted as saying that it takes 20 million trees. Not young saplings. Nope, they require mature 20-year-old trees. 20 million of them, each and every year. I was taken aback by that figure.
This make me wonder if someone is not missing out on an opportunity. Take for example the acceptance of bottled water by consumers. Previously one would get water for free from a water tap at home. Now people willingly pay for bottled water. The City of Toronto, for example, will sell you bottled Toronto Tap Water. A Wonderful souvenir of a visit to Toronto?? If memory serves me they had a display at last years Toronto Honda Indy.
So what does bottled water have to do with chopstick production in China. Well, what happens here,happens also in China. If it has not started already, I suspect that it will. What? People will start to willingly pay for bottled water. Heck I have read that people pay for bottled fresh air in Japan. Since there are billions of Chinese citizens, then I would suggest there would be a huge free source of empty plastic water bottles. The plastic would be available at not cost for the material. Just some transport costs, as the Cities would pay for collecting the empty bottles as part of their recycling programs.
Next step would be shred the plastic into large pieces. Then rinse and shred into tiny plastic pellets. Melt the plastic and shape it into hollow Chopsticks. By melting the plastic, you disinfect the plastic, so the final chopstick would be sterile. Proof again, that one man’s garbage can be another man’s pot of gold.
This post is also another example of thinking outside the box. Most people would have read that news article about Chinese Chopstick Production and moved on. But every potential problem, could also be a potential opportunity. It’s often there, all you have to do is look for it. One person will only see the 20 million trees cut down each year. I see this as an opportunity to use waste plastic from disposable water bottles, to replace wood in the production of chopsticks. It could be a way of turning garbage into gold.
Chopsticks made from recycled plastic could supply the demand and eliminate cutting down 20 million trees each year. Ok maybe not, but at least the wood from the trees could be used for other things, like flooring to supply China’s housing boom.
The source article from the Times of India can be read by CLICKING HERE.
Posted by: Vincent Banial
Disclaimer: The above is not meant as Financial or Investment advice. I am not a registered Financial or Investment advisor. I do own shares of PFSW. Do your own Due Diligence. Always seek out the advice from your own Financial and Investment Professionals before placing any bets at the Financial Markets casinos called the Stock Market. You can lose money, possibly all of it, when buying and selling or trading stocks. The above is not a recommendation to buy or sell PFSW or any other stock. The above post is for entertainment purposes only.