Each year billions of bits of disposable cutlery are biffed into landfills and oceans, including over a 100 billion chopsticks from Asia alone. That's oodles of wasted wood. But what if we could eat our way to a pollution solution? Japan's Marushige Confectionery has unveiled new edible chopsticks that can be chowed-down after a meal, rather than binned.
The chopsticks are made from Igusa reeds, which are traditionally used for tatami floor mats. Marushige Confectionery hope that alongside environmental merits, their edible chopsticks will promote the country's agricultural traditions.
Igusa boasts health benefits like 60 times the fiber content of lettuce - but it's also variously described as tasting "grassy", "bitter" "fibrous" and "like furniture" (perhaps not so suitable as a snack on their own?)
Edible chopsticks are currently available at two restaurants in Tokyo and it's hoped they'll become available elsewhere in the near future. They're by no means the first edible cutlery on the market - Indian company Bakeys offer plain, sweet and savoury spoons made from sorghum, rice and wheat flours, while an American company has developed a home appliance to grill edible spoons of any flavour in 3 minutes.
Eating our way to a cleaner planet? Count us in.