Do we still need chopstick instructions?

Over a normal lunchtime I search for some Sushi and wander off to eat it in a quiet corner. In the same way for many years I rip open the packet of chopsticks and get stuck in.

When clearing up I look at the packet and wonder if we really need instructions for chopsticks anymore. What drives my question is less the need or better use of that print space any more the fact that cultures have mixed to a point that the number of people who have never seen or tried to use them must be pretty small now, right?

So how big is the use? China makes up close to 10% of the worlds population consume a vast number each year. Not counting pairs at home on average they will use over 100 pairs of disposable chopsticks each year:

In China today 1.4 billion people ploughing through 80 billion pairs of throwaway chopsticks each year — Source Telegraph

Putting aside the environmental impact of this for one moment that is a significant amount of wrapping. I am sure they feel no need for instructions but I am sure by default many packets still show them what to do.

I guess the question is when does the level of adoption mean that you don’t need it. I have never seen instructions for a knife and fork. Coming from the UK and living in the US I know that these two counties use them differently and view each other’s way of eating as odd however still no instructions on the paper wrapper used in most dinners.

I also think that trying to learn from these pictures is out of date. I turn to YouTube to understand the best way to do any of these types of tasks. Including changing the washer on my 20 year old shower. So at least a QR code to a video would be better option.

So what should we put on the packet? How about combining two Chinese traditions and print some words of wisdom akin to a fortune cookie.

Your suggestions are welcome.


If you learnt anything in reading this it is a pure fluke and I have not vet many facts used so beware. If this made you stop think or smile then please let me know by hitting the like button.