Japanese businesses launch digestible packaging to save local wild deers

After a number of wild deers in Japan’s ancient capital of Nara died last year as a result of eating plastic waste discarded by tourists, concerned local companies quickly stepped in to help protect the iconic animals.

In a joint effort, several local businesses partnered up to develop bags that safely pass through the animals’ stomachs in case they eat it. The newly developed wrappings were made out of recycled pulp from milk cartons and rice bran — one of the main ingredients of the savory crackers fed to the deers by tourists.

Authorities believe the offending bags and wrappers were left by visitors who fed the animals other treats, ignoring multilingual signs warning them to give them only approved crackers that are sold in local shops and do not come in plastic packaging, explains The Guardian.

“We made the paper with the deer in mind,” said Hidetoshi Matsukawa, one of the businessmen behind the initiative. “Tourism in Nara is supported by deer so we will protect them and promote the bags as a brand for the local economy.”

About 3,500 easy-to-digest bags have been sold so far to local firms and organizations, including the city’s tourism bureau. Their production is expected to stick around even after the coronavirus lockdown which has temporarily decreased the number of tourists in the region.

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Japanese businesses launch digestible packaging to save local wild deers

After a number of wild deers in Japan’s ancient capital of Nara died last year as a result of eating plastic waste discarded by tourists, concerned local companies quickly stepped in to help protect the iconic animals.

In a joint effort, several local businesses partnered up to develop bags that safely pass through the animals’ stomachs in case they eat it. The newly developed wrappings were made out of recycled pulp from milk cartons and rice bran — one of the main ingredients of the savory crackers fed to the deers by tourists.

Authorities believe the offending bags and wrappers were left by visitors who fed the animals other treats, ignoring multilingual signs warning them to give them only approved crackers that are sold in local shops and do not come in plastic packaging, explains The Guardian.

“We made the paper with the deer in mind,” said Hidetoshi Matsukawa, one of the businessmen behind the initiative. “Tourism in Nara is supported by deer so we will protect them and promote the bags as a brand for the local economy.”

About 3,500 easy-to-digest bags have been sold so far to local firms and organizations, including the city’s tourism bureau. Their production is expected to stick around even after the coronavirus lockdown which has temporarily decreased the number of tourists in the region.

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