わりばし is the name given to the wooden disposable chopsticks that come with many noodle boxes or Japanese meals. In Japan, they can be found in almost every restaurant and take away place - and that adds up to a huge number of chopsticks. Here are a few interesting facts about わりばし:
- according to the Japan Times Online, 25 billion pairs of わりばし are used every year in Japan
- the wood used in the 25 billion pairs of chopsticks would be enough to build 17,000 houses
- If you put 25 billion pairs together end to end, they would go around the earth 125 times
Some restaurants are now giving discounts for customers who bring their own chopsticks, and others have stopped using disposable chopsticks completely.
And believe it or not - most of Japan's disposable chopsticks are ... Made in China!
Information from Japan Times Online http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fe20080730a1.html