Opportunity knocks. Yearly, 160 Billion disposable chopsticks are produced in China. That’s a lot of disposable trees being cut down.

English: Chopsticks for cooking

English: Chopsticks for cooking (Photo credit: OttawaAC & Wikipedia)

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.

Bottled water fills an aisle in a supermarket

English: Bottled water fills an aisle in a supermarket (Photo credit: Ivy Main & Wikipedia). http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bottled_water_in_supermarket.JPG

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.

Disposable chopsticks in the cafeteri

English: Disposable chopsticks in the cafeteria of Waseda University, Japan (Photo credit: Tischbeinahe & Wikipedia). http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wegwerf-Esst%C3%A4bchen.jpg

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.



  1. Tree Service Brooklyn

    Interesting article, thanks for bringing this to my attention this is really something. It makes you wonder if we’re wasting that much on simply an eating tool, compared to the water bottles, compare all of that to livestock that we consume and how our living conditions are worsening environmentally.

    -Samudaworth Tree Service

  2. uniquelytoronto

    Hi Samudaworthtree. True it’s just an eating tool, but then we’re talking about an eating tool for over one Billion humans in China. I think that it’s an opportunity to come up with an alternative. There would be an instant market. Converting waste plastic water bottles into chopsticks could make someone a billionaire. Your source material would be given to you, or be available at minimal cost to you. Sounds like lots of room for huge markup and profits. It would also be a stable market since people will always need to eat.

  3. Xn--lnpengenuudensikkerhed-o5b.dk

    You are so interesting! I do not think I have read through a single thing like
    that before. So nice to discover another person
    with some original thoughts on this subject. Really.
    . thank you for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the web, someone with some originality!

  4. uniquelytoronto

    Hi Rubinricker. Thanks much for visiting and the kind words about the blog. The blog is new. Actually there are two new blogs, this one and also F-Stop. Hope to continue to post about things that can help one to stop and think. Sometimes you will agree with what I post, other times not so much. Plse continue to visit, to see how this blogging adventure develops.