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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Business Update

Air Date: Week of

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SOLOMON-GREENBAUM: Next time you're about to split a pair of chopsticks and dig into that moo goo gai pan, consider where the wooden splints come from. The Chinese are starting to do just that, and they're moving to cut down on the 45 billion pairs of chopsticks they use each year at a cost of 25 million trees. More than 100 state-owned restaurants in Beijing have promised to wash and reuse their chopsticks. Other cities may ban the throw-away utensils. And there are reports the government may tax the so-called "one-time chopsticks." Chopsticks have been China's favorite eating tool for millennia, but in the last 20 years, with more people dining out, the disposable variety has flourished. With growing trash heaps and damaging floods blamed on deforestation, the Chinese are now trying to find a way to stop eating their way through their forests. That's this week's business update. I'm Anna Solomon-Greenbaum.



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