Chopsticks Price Hike Changes Disposable Habits of Japan

chopctisk78.jpgIn a remarkable bid to preserve what’s left of Chinese forests, the government has begun raising the price of chopsticks. It started with a 5% tax locally, and evidentally has resulted in 30% higher prices for disposable chopsticks in Japan. Though such abrupt changes may cause momentary disruption, Japan, who import almost 100% of their chopsticks from China, has responded by switching to re-usables. From the article:

“We were concerned that our customers would complain over the change, but we haven’t had any complaints that it is unhygienic. We’ve been able to reduce the amount of garbage,” Marche spokesman Tomohiro Ajioka said.

Seems like an ultimate win-win (depending on the orgins of the reusable chopsticks) for Japanese restauranteurs who, despite an initial expense, will end up with higher quality service, less trash to deal with, and savings.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

One response

  1. This is a HUGE deal, actually. Given the massive numbers of trees that are harvested (as most of you know) each year, any amount of switching to re-usables makes a big difference. Thanks for the ‘good’ news.

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