UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into chopsticks (disposable versus reusable) Wang, Han; Nejatali, Reza; Seif, Soroush; Chow, Yan Yee Julianna


This report aims to determine whether or not disposable or reusable chopsticks are suitable for student usage in the New Student Union Building (SUB) at UBC. Every year, approximately 350,000 pairs of disposable chopsticks are thrown away on UBC campus. This is a problem in the long run and the aim of the new SUB is to reduce the carbon footprint of students in the new SUB, the aim of this report is to minimize that from disposable utensils such as disposable chopsticks. An analysis is conducted on the two products based on the environmental, economical, and social impacts of disposable and reusable chopsticks. Reusable chopsticks are usually made out of plastic and metal whereas disposable chopsticks are wood and bamboo. Even though Canada is abundant with forests, it is important to acknowledge that it is not an unlimited source of material. After surveying a small sample population within users of the SUB, we have found that more than 80% of the participants are willing to bring their own reusable chopsticks if they were given a discount of some sort when purchasing their meals. This report concludes that reusable chopsticks are a much more sustainable option than disposable chopsticks as UBC strives to be a global leader in sustainability. By implementing cheap vending machines in the new SUB providing cheap reusable chopsticks will help raise awareness of the issues regarding disposable utensils. This will also encourage students and staff members not only to bring disposable utensils to school, but even to other places in Vancouver. It is recommended for washing stations to be implemented around the new SUB if reusable chopsticks are replacing disposable chopsticks. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International