Forest resources are seriously overstretched in China, ranked 139th worldwide in forest land per capita. The mass production and use of disposable wooden chopsticks--23 billion pairs in 2009--is a heavy burden on limited forest lands.
With the "Disposable Forest" campaign created by Ogilvy & Mather, Beijing, Greenpeace hopes to raise awareness of the issue and appeal to the Chinese public to reject the use of disposable chopsticks to protect and conserve China's deficient forest resources.
Over the last several months, the WPP agency worked with Greenpeace, local artist Xu Yinhai and more than 200 volunteers from 20 Chinese universities to collect more than 80,000 pairs of used (and sanitized) disposable wooden chopsticks from restaurants and repurposed them into a forest of chopstick trees standing approximately five meters tall.
"These trees should have been abundantly green and vibrant, but now they are pieced together with wasteful disposable chopsticks. Our hope is that everyone in China will join us in saying 'no' to disposable chopsticks to protect our forests," said Aihong Li, director of Greenpeace's Forest Protection Program in Beijing.
At the exhibit, viewers were invited to sign a board pledging their commitment to refuse to use disposable chopsticks. Greenpeace supported their efforts by giving away hundreds of pairs of eco-friendly, reusable chopsticks.
The public is also invited to pledge their support and commitment to the cause on a mini-site, act.greenpeace.org.cn/kuaizi, created for the campaign. Each time a person's name is added to the petition, a green leaf will appear on a tree online.