Environmentalists in China have a message to Olympic-goers in Beijing: Bring your own chopsticks. Some environmentalists say that disposable wooden chopsticks are contributing to deforestation. China's government has recently slapped a tax on disposable chopsticks and urged restaurants not to use them.
BEIJING -- A dozen environmental activists stormed the cafeteria of Microsoft Corp.'s Chinese headquarters on a lunchtime mission to change the way 1.3 billion people pick up their noodles. As startled diners looked up from their pork fried rice, Cao Yu, a 26-year-old activist dressed as an endangered orangutan spoke passionately about the ecological perils of China's most common eating utensil.
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection will sample disposable chopstick imports starting today to ensure they do not contain excessive traces of potentially harmful chemicals, officials said yesterday.
More than 300 hotels in Beijing have joined in a significant campaign called "Preserve Forests and Say No to Disposable Chopsticks" jointly launched by Greenpeace and several domestic consumer websites to stop the use of the disposable chopsticks.
The opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union urged the government on Thursday not to allow imports of disposable chopsticks from China because of safety concerns. The party said that Chinese disposable chopsticks contain hazardous substances such as lead, fluorescent material and sulfur dioxide which pose a health risk to consumers. Party officials also demonstrated at the press conference that Chinese chopsticks emit a pungent acidic odor after being placed in hot water for a few seconds.
It has been four months since China imposed a tax on wooden chopsticks because of concerns about deforestation. That and rising production costs prompted Chinese exporters to raise chopstick prices by about 30 percent...
A new five percent tax on disposable wooden chopsticks is a sure sign that the Chinese government is now ready to address growing charges that its rapid economic development is impacting the global environment.