Bamboo used in making disposable chopsticks
While reputable manufacturers would use good quality bamboo, others would use waste material from making boards and planks.
Bleaching chopsticks with sulfur dioxide & Hydrogen Peroxide
Packing chopsticks for export to Taiwan and Japan
Inside a chopstick
Millions of "monkeys" in it
Conclusions from an experiment conducted by a primary school student:
The sensible solution dear readers, is to pack a pair of chopsticks whenever you go for your meals. Alternatively, check the manufacturer's name and address or contact information on the wrapping. As a last measure, bring the chopsticks close to your nose as sulfur dioxide has a strong, recognizable odour.
On an average, 23 to 25 billion disposable chopsticks are used every year in Japan (around 200 per person). Of this, 90 percent is imported and 10 percent is made domestically. If put end to end, the chopsticks will l stretch from Tokyo to the southern city of Fukuoka in Kyushu!
From http://dolphin.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~sanshiro/, in Japanese.
- Eco Special Interest Group (EcoSIG), Japan.