Green Development

Jiangxi's bamboo forges green alternative to plastics

Updated: Jan 4, 2023 China Daily Print
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Craftsman Wu Hunan makes a bamboo basket at home in Jinjiang village, Yichun, on Dec 16. DENG LONGHUA/FOR CHINA DAILY

NANCHANG — Bamboo utensils have been the main products of Okuda Shizuko's company in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, for nearly three decades.

Bullish on the potential of the industry under China's green initiative, Shizuko injected several million yuan this year in upgrading the factory from a traditional assembly line to an intelligent production line.

Growing up in a binational family, Shizuko lived in China until she was 20 before leaving for Japan for further studies. Yet her experiences during childhood left an indelible impression on her.

In the 1990s, she returned to Nanchang and founded Nanchang Sanyou Eco Technology, which specializes in eco-friendly products such as bamboo and wooden utensils. The company has been in business for 29 years.

"Today, about 80 percent of our products are sold in Japan, Europe and the United States," said Shizuko, adding that the company's smooth operation mirrors the sustained efforts China has been making in recent decades to further green economic development and upgrade its manufacturing sector.

China is the largest source of bamboo resources in the world. Its bamboo forest area and output account for one-fourth and one-third of the global total, respectively.

At the Second Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress held in November, the Chinese government and the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization launched the Bamboo as a Substitute for Plastic Initiative to encourage countries to reduce plastic pollution, respond to climate change and accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Shizuko said that as China has paid more attention to environmental protection, environmental awareness has been greatly enhanced, thus giving the sector promising prospects for development.

"We plan to increase the research, development and production of bamboo products such as spoons, bowls and chopsticks next year and continue to upgrade production lines to improve efficiency and expand the domestic market share," she said.

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