Is there such a thing as too much sushi? Depends on who you ask, but from its humble beginnings to its global explosion of the 21st century, sushi consumption clearly isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In fact, even traditional methods of Asian dining have risen in popularity. Naturally, as the demand for far-eastern cuisine increases, so does the demand for chopsticks- especially disposable ones.
The Problem with Chopstick Popularity
With a peak in popularity of ANYTHING also comes a need for convenience. In this case, there’s now a growing demand for disposable chopsticks. But, what makes this something we should be concerned about? Well, as piles of discarded chopsticks grow higher, so does the amount of trees needed to produce them. It’s estimated that China alone uses roughly 20 million trees each year to supply disposable chopsticks. As a direct result, we’re seeing an increase in deforestation at alarming rates.
Deforestation is scary enough, but there’s more to this problem than just the amount of trees being chopped down. Most of these disposable chopsticks are also being manufactured from composite wood; a “wood-like” material made from a mixture of plastic, wood fiber, and adhesives. Composite wood is non-organic, meaning it’s also non-biodegradable. So, we’re not JUST cutting down more trees to make even bigger garbage heaps of chopsticks- we’re also making them from a substance that takes decades to decompose.
Upcycle with Purpose: The Start of Chopstick Connie
Something about cutting down trees at the rate of one acre every 15 minutes didn’t sit right with us here at Morrocco Method. We decided to make it our mission to bring awareness to the issue of disposable chopsticks causing deforestation. We wanted to do our part to help the problem, too- even with just one reusable utensil at a time. From these concepts, MM’s Upcycle Purpose Project, Chopstick Connie, was born.
Chopstick Connie started from a simple idea and one small accessory. Morrocco Method founder, Anthony Morrocco, was at the office of his long-time seamstress when he requested that she construct a carrier for his reusable chopsticks. With a little imagination and a well-worn silk tie, the very first Tie Chopstick Holder was created. We didn’t stop there either.
It became clear that this new chopstick carrier was more than a trendy accessory; it was a way to upcycle clothing, reuse materials, and reduce waste. It also created something sustainable. This chopstick holder wasn’t JUST fashionable and functional, it was an upcycle idea that brought awareness to deforestation, too.
Using Ties for Saving Trees
Anthony and Chopstick Connie have since partnered to make Tie Chopstick Holders available to everyone through Morrocco Method’s website. Each is a one-of-a-kind piece, crafted from luxury brand silk-ties and hand-sewn by Chopstick Connie herself. Every chopstick holder comes with a pair of reusable chopsticks, too- so you’ll know you’re also helping in the fight against deforestation. A portion of the proceeds from this project will also be used to support other upcycle start-up companies that are finding innovative ways to turn their own sustainable dreams into reality.