More than 100 state-owned restaurants in Beijing promised this month to “go green” and start washing and reusing chopsticks. The federal government in China is considering a tax on disposable chopsticks, and Shanghai and other cities are considering a ban on them. Environmentalists say the changes indicate that Chinese citizens are beginning to realize that their consumer decisions affect the environment. China currently discards about 45 billion pairs of chopsticks every year, coming from as many as 25 million trees. Kang Dahu, a 22-year volunteer with green groups, said, “Just imagine, years from now, when my grandchildren ask me what happened to all of China’s trees, I’ll have to say, ‘We made them into chopsticks.’ Isn’t that pitiful?”
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