Greenpeace Plants Disposable Chopstick Forest In China

Greenpeace China - Chopstick Forest 12

I was quite shocked when I found out that the Chinese go through a staggering 45 billion pairs of disposable wooden chopsticks each year. This equates to about 25 million trees and current analysts have predicted that if this continues China’s forests will be gone in 20 years.

Disposable Chopsticks

This is where the new Chinese Greenpeace campaign comes in. Titled, “我本是一棵绿树” (Wǒ běn shì yī kē lǜ shù) or in English “I Was Once A Tree“, Greenpeace and local artist Yinhai Xu created a forest, made entirely from disposable chopsticks, and “planted” it at “The Place” in Beijing.

Over 200 students from 20 Chinese universities had to collect the 80,000 pairs of used chopsticks to produce the artistic masterpiece called “The Disposable Forest”.

The launch was attended by Xiao Wei, avid Greenpeace campaigner and lead singer of the Chinese Punk band “Catcher In The Rye“.

Greenpeace China - Chopstick Forest advert

Greenpeace China - Chopstick Forest 13

Greenpeace China - Chopstick Forest 6

Greenpeace China - Chopstick Forest 10

Greenpeace China - Chopstick Forest 9

Greenpeace China - Chopstick Forest 7

Greenpeace China - Chopstick Forest 5

Greenpeace China - Chopstick Forest 2

Greenpeace China - Chopstick Forest 3

The campaign is supported by a Greenpeace mirco-site, where visitors can add their name to the petition which in turn places a green leaf on the website’s digital tree.

Greenpeace China - Chopstick Forest Website

Over the next few months the “Disposable Forest” will be put on show at various art galleries and universities across Beijing.

The campaign has already created a lot of buzz from Chinese netizens, but the question remains as to whether or not it will actually make a difference, especially because this is not Greenpeace’s first attempt to put across the message in China.

It’s worth noting as well that the China Environmental Protection Foundation have just launched a very similar campaign in Shanghai (below).

China Enviroment Protection Fund - DDB Shanghai

Credit to: Ogilvy & Mather (Beijing Branch) / DDB (Shanghai Branch)

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  • krdr

    Wait, aren’t those chopsticks made from fast growing and sustainable bamboo? Aren’t the great number of them exported to Japan?

    • vince

      would be interesting to know if that is the case.

  • gongjiao

    would be nice if they built houses/living structures out of chopsticks. or crutches for injured felines.

  • Ho Hum

    No trees in 20 years, eh? Greenpeace is so stupid (and so are all those unthinking, hand-wringing greenies). They don’t seem to realise that you can plant and grow new trees to replace those that have been cut down. And I’m not talking about pristine natural forest, either – the vast majority of wood products these days come from farmed timber. Not only is this good for the environment (traps a lot of carbon), tree farming is also significantly more cost-effective than logging old growth forest. China’s no different.

  • Meh

    So they butchered living trees to make artificial tree hides out of the wood?

    Talk about recycling :S

  • I love Shanzhai

    Most of the wood for Chinese chopsticks comes from Canada.
    They use beavers to chop the wood into little sticks.
    What would the beavers do if the Chinese started using forks?

  • cdn icehole

    Wood is a renewable resource so what’s the problem? Would Greenpeace (a.k.a. pot-smoking tree-hugging-spiking hippies) prefer what we use plastic chopsticks which require OIL to produce?

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