China is importing chopsticks from the USA as the country does not have enough to make their own.
In a statement at the National People’s Congress, Bo Guangxin, the chairman of Jilin Forestry Industry Group is reported to have said: “We must change our consumption habits and encourage people to carry their own tableware” and even suggested that restaurants offer metal knives and forks instead.
20 million trees a year are chopped down in China, to produce the annual requirements of disposable chopsticks.
Jae Lee, founder and owner of Georgia Chopsticks, who shows that it’s not always what you make that counts as innovation but how you make it and whom you sell it to. Lee spotted the potential for a huge new market when he learned that China doesn’t harvest enough domestic wood to produce the billions of pairs of disposable chopsticks used there each year. Korean-born Lee founded the company, which he says is the only chopsticks manufacturer in the U.S., in 2010. It has brought 47 much-needed new jobs to Americus, and it now sends more than 80 million pairs of chopsticks–made of locally abundant poplar–to China every month. “Last year, we had the same price as Chinese- produced chopsticks,” Lee says, “but right now, we’re about 20% lower.” This year, Lee plans to expand into the production of toothpicks and tongue depressors, both crafted of wood scraps left over from chopstick making.
Maybe they would have been better if they did NOT stamp “Made In USA” on the chopsticks going to China.
In April 2012, Georgia Chopsticks LLC, 102 Brady Road, Americus was placed into receivership…
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