While Amy Chavez’s Dec. 29 column, “How can Japan help save the world? Be more Taiwanese,” is an interesting piece, it did have one or two parts that I question. First, Chavez states that Taiwan’s MRT subway uses plastic electronic tokens as well as modern smart cards that eliminate “unnecessary waste that would be generated with a paper ticket.” Paper is also recyclable.
Next she states that “all of Taiwan’s restaurants use reusable lightweight metal or plastic chopsticks — no more disposable chopsticks to burn or end up in landfills!” Plastic and metal have high carbon footprints; elements of both have to be dug out of the ground then processed. Wood is at least vaguely carbon neutral.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.