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Kia Ora in Stick News today, China has introduced a 5 percent tax on disposable chopsticks.
Chopstick importers in Japan are worried, but environmentalists are celebrating.
These disposable wooden chopsticks are called “waribashi” in Japan. Customers are given them at convenience stores, and eat with them at most restaurants.
In Japan 25 million sets of waribashi are used ever year. That’s about 200 per person.
20 years ago half of all the waribashi were produced locally. Now, 97 percent come from China.
China’s annual production of disposable wooden chopsticks is more than 45 billion pairs. That’s about 25 million trees. About one third of these go to Japan and Korea, and the rest are used locally.
In Japan, a pair of waribashi used to cost 1 yen. They now cost up to 1.7 yen.
Chain stores have changed their chopstick policies.
At some convenience stores, customers are now only given chopsticks if they ask for them.
And an Osaka restaurant chain has switched to reusable plastic chopsticks, and customers who bring their own chopsticks get a small discount.
And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 16th of May.
conversations with sarah
# 27 How was your trip?
Sarah went to Bali for 5 days. Sarah asks about her trip.
Step 1: Repeat Kim’s lines.
Step 2: Read Kim’s lines on the screen and talk to Sarah.
Kim How was your trip?
Sarah It was great!
Kim When did you get back?
Sarah I got back two days ago.
Kim You must be tired.
Sarah Yeah, I am a bit.
Kim Did you get good weather?
Sarah Yeah, it was fantastic! It didn’t rain at all.
Kim Did you do much sightseeing?
Sarah No, not really… we spent most of the time just lying on the beach.
We did go to one temple, but that was about it.
Read today’s news here.