Japanese man invents ‘edible’ plastic bag alternative to save Nara’s sacred deer

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(CNN) — A neighborhood entrepreneur within the Japanese vacationer vacation spot of Nara has developed an alternative to plastic procuring baggage, to defend the city’s sacred deer.
Hidetoshi Matsukawa, who works for Nara-ism, a memento wholesale agent, informed CNN he heard final 12 months that the deer, which roam town’s park, have been dying after ingesting plastic baggage.

“I wanted to do something to protect the deer, which is the symbol of Nara,” he stated.

The bags are made from rice bran and milk cartons.

The baggage are produced from rice bran and milk cartons.

Courtesy Bunyodo

The metropolis is house to round 1,000 sacred deer, that are formally designated as a nationwide pure treasure in Japan, and lots of vacationers feed them treats.

In July 2019, nonetheless, an area welfare group stated 9 deer had been discovered lifeless, with plastic baggage of their stomachs, and known as on guests not to throw away plastic baggage within the park.

Matsukawa wished to provide you with a unique resolution to the issue, and teamed up with an area paper producer and a design agency to work on the undertaking.

These plastic bags were pulled from the stomach of a dead deer.

These plastic baggage have been pulled from the abdomen of a lifeless deer.

Courtesy Bunyodo

Between them they developed “Shikagami,” or deer paper, which is produced from rice bran and milk cartons.

“We learned rice bran are mostly wasted in the process of rice polishing,” stated Matsukawa. “So this paper helps to reduce that waste as well.”

Matsukawa has had the baggage examined and says they’re protected for human consumption.

“We do not have the data to back up that this paper is not harmful to deers, but I believe this is safe for them as well as for human beings,” he stated, laughing.

The baggage have since been examined at native banks and the Todaiji temple, Nara’s principal vacationer attraction. The temple and banks purchased 4,000-5,000 of the baggage for 100 yen (round 95 cents) every as a part of the pilot undertaking.

The worth will fall if extra companies enroll to use the baggage, stated Matsukawa, who goals of changing plastic baggage throughout town to forestall extra deer from dying after consuming them.

“The news about the death of deer by plastic bags creates a negative image, as though the park is a cemetery for deer,” he stated. “The paper bags can protect deer, as well as the brand image of Nara with deer.”

Just 45 minutes from Kyoto by prepare, Nara is a well-liked vacation spot for guests to Japan.



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