China's population of 1.3 billion has a lot of mouths to feed, and a lot of chopsticks to use (around 50 billion per year, actually). That's why the country recently looked to the city of Americus, Georgia (population: 17,000) to help produce the country's utensil of choice. The poplar tree and sweet gum trees that "grow like weeds" (via Eater) in Americus provide the right balance of hardness and softness for producing chopsticks.
Georgia Chopsticks, the only chopsticks manufacturer in the U.S., was created in November. The Americus plant opened in May. According to the video below, the plant is open 24 hours, six days per week. It is already producing two million chopsticks a day that are being shipped to China, Japan, Korea and the United States. Over the past few months, there has been a huge increase in demand.
By the end of the year, the plant owner anticipates being able to produce 10 million chopsticks per day. Perhaps in the future the poplar tree and sweet gum trees might not grow like weeds anymore.