New environmental taxes in China

This is great news: China imposes a tax on disposable chopsticks! Actually, the campaign was involving schoolchildren, according to BBC:

It produces about 45 billion pairs of chopsticks a year, consuming millions of trees and bamboo plants. The move came as China said it would raise some consumption taxes next month in a bid to help the environment and narrow the gap between rich and poor.

Taxes on yachts, luxury watches, golf clubs, gas-guzzling cars and wooden floor panels are rising by 5-20%.

The disposable splints of wood, usually between eight and 10 inches long, have long been a target for Chinese environmentalists.

School children have written to the Chinese prime minister asking for a ban on disposable wooden chopsticks, while students have persuaded some college cafeterias to replace them with spoons.

I'm finding different numbers, but it seems China produces 10 billion boxes of chopsticks each year for domestic use, while 6 billion boxes are being exported, mainly to Japan. What a waste! South Korea has a much better solution: Stainless steel chopsticks.


Blake said…
I noticed that when I was living there (in Korea). It makes a lot more sense than using wood.

They take a while to get used to, but they're not that bad.
ChinaLawBlog said…
Before jumping on the metal chopsticks bandwagon for environmental reasons, I would first like to see a true comparision. Does the electricity and water used to wash metal chopsticks cause more harm than the disposables. I have heard Korea went to metal after learning that some restaurants were washing the "disposables" to save money.

China Law
Omahyra said…
'Before jumping on' such dirty happenings by a few unscrupulous restaurants, Korea had been using metal chopsticks for hundreds of years, at least.

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