As awareness of environmental issues grows worldwide these days, issues such as garbage and food loss are increasingly being addressed also among cooking, eating and drinking industries.
In honor of the "Day of Zero Garbage" on May 30, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of disposable and eco-friendly chopsticks under the theme of “chopsticks”.
What is the “Day of Zero Garbage”?
“Garbage Zero” is a motto to prevent the generations of garbage. With the increasing global attention on the environmental issues these days, more companies in Japan are aiming to reduce greenhouse gases emitted during incineration for reducing waste, thereby creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly system.
Of course, such activities are not limited to companies, but are widely known to people, and an increasing number of individuals are proactively addressing environmental issues by, for example, carrying water bottles when they go out to avoid plastic waste in drinking water, or using hand towels instead of wet wipes.
One of the first zero-waste campaigns that can be undertaken by individuals and restaurants is the use of chopsticks.
Disposable chopsticks and eco-friendly chopsticks
Chopsticks are the most basic tools for Japanese food. We will explain both advantages and disadvantages of these.
Disposable chopsticks consist of two chopstick parts and are to be split by hands when in use.
Being disposal, these chopsticks look clean and it is the advantage that it is easy to consider hygiene. In addition, it is an advantage that the production cost is low because of no decoration as well as an advantage that you do not need to wash them after use.
While, it is a disadvantage that their disposal cost is high and they need extra care for storage.
Also it can be a disadvantage that they are apt to be considered harmful for environment.
In the forest areas, excess trees must be removed to keep other trees in good condition. They have been using such removed trees for making chopsticks for the best use of them. So rather than being harmful for nature, it actually contributes to the effective use of wood, recycling, and environmental conservation.
Generally, eco-friendly chopsticks are made of wood, and finished by painting lacquer, resin, etc. considering food hygiene.
They can be used repeatedly by washing, and it is the advantage that the cost for ordering, storing and disposal are not necessary, unlike the disposal chopsticks. It is also an advantage that you can appeal your commitment to the environment.
While, the disadvantages are it can give unsanitary impression if management is sloppy and causes additional labor to wash them as they are not disposal as the disposal chopsticks. It will also a disadvantage that the burden to environment becomes bigger compared with the disposal chopsticks if you wash them using a dishwasher.
Both disposal chopsticks and eco-friendly chopsticks have advantages and disadvantages.
It depends if you can make use of their advantages and compensate the disadvantages depending on your purpose, frequency of use, environment, etc. You should start using the ones which fit your own purpose and environment after considering each advantages and disadvantages, aiming at the environment-friendly life style.