FACT CHECK: Did Greta Thunberg Ask The Chinese Government To Stop Using Chopsticks?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

A viral Facebook post claims that Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has “called on the Chinese to stop using their traditional chopsticks and thus save hundreds of trees.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence she has ever called for this action. Thunberg’s team has confirmed she has never made such a statement.

Fact Check:

Thunberg, who addressed world leaders at a United Nations climate summit in New York City in 2019, first gained global attention for skipping school to protest against inaction on climate change outside the Swedish parliament. She took all of 2019 off from school to continue her campaign, including attending key climate conferences and joining student protests around the world, BBC News reported.

The post alleges Thunberg asked the Chinese government to “stop using their traditional chopsticks” to save trees. It further claims that, in response, the Chinese government “advised Greta Thunberg to return to school, where she will learn that the sticks are made of bamboo, and that bamboo is a plant, not a tree.”

However, the Daily Caller News Foundation found no evidence in an internet search that Thunberg ever called on the Chinese government to stop using chopsticks, only other fact-checkers debunking the claim. The DCNF also searched Thunberg’s verified Twitter account but did not find comments to this effect. Her team confirmed to Reuters that she made no such statement.

It is unclear from where exactly the fake story originated, but Reuters traced an early iteration of the claim to a Jan. 14 tweet. (RELATED: Does This Picture Show Greta Thunberg With George Soros?)


“Greta said don’t use chopsticks. Cuz it is a symbol of environmental destruction,” reads the tweet. “#GretaThunberg you acclaim panda to stop biting bamboo. I think you should shut up. Cuz you waste oxygen and made smelly CO2 emission.”

In 2013, Bo Guangxin, the head of a major Chinese forestry group, estimated that China used 20 million trees to produce roughly 80 billion chopsticks each year, according to The Washington Post.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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