Zero Waste

Reusable Chopsticks Are Where It’s At

Most ramen and sushi places give out disposable chopsticks, and for someone limiting their waste, that’s no bueno. Even though it seems like a small drop in the bin, items like disposable chopsticks add up fast. It’s estimated that 80 million disposable chopsticks are produced every year in China, according to the Jilin Forest Industry, with half of its exports to Japan, South Korea and the US.

To top it off, disposable chopsticks are SUPER shady health-wise: most are full of chemicals due to the bleaching process ?

But there’s an easy solution! If you’re a ramen or sushi fan, start carrying around your own chopsticks. They’re some of the easiest reusables to store in your purse, backpack or car.

Plus, you look cool ? and you reduce your waste ♻️

Where to Buy Reusable Chopsticks

  • Most supermarkets have options
  • Asian supermarkets
  • Bed Bath and Beyond
  • World Market
  • Etsy
  • Borrow from family or friends. Everyone has extra chopsticks they never use. Put a pair to good use!


  • Compost disposable chopsticks. If you’re in a situation where you have to use disposable chopsticks (you should never be, but it could happen…), take them home and compost in either your home bin or through your citywide organics program (most take wooden chopsticks, but double check to make sure).
  • If you forgot your reusable chopsticks, be that person and ask for a fork rather than create chopstick waste.
  • Looking to buy chopsticks? Keep a lookout in your travels. They’re sold in more places than you’d think, and then you won’t need to waste extra money and carbon emissions to buy online.

Resources to Learn More

5 Reasons Not to Use Disposable Chinese-Made Chopsticks

Greenpeace - Protecting China’s Forests

China’s Disposable Chopstick Addiction is Destroying its Forests

Disposable Chopsticks Strip Asian Forests