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Japanese invents 'edible' paper bag alternative to save Nara's sacred deer

Japanese invents 'edible' paper bag alternative to save Nara's sacred deer

2020-10-23


(Nara's sacred deer.)

The city is home to around 1,000 sacred deer, which are officially designated as a national natural treasure in Japan, and many tourists feed them treats.

In July 2019, a local welfare group said nine deer had been found dead, with plastic bags in their stomachs, and called on visitors not to throw away plastic bags in the park.

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


Hidetoshi Matsukawa, who works for Nara-ism, a souvenir wholesale agent, told reporters he heard last year that the deer, which roam the city's park, were dying after ingesting plastic bags.

"I wanted to do something to protect the deer, which is the symbol of Nara," he said.

Matsukawa wanted to come up with a different solution to the problem, and teamed up with a local paper manufacturer and a design firm to work on the project.

A local entrepreneur in the Japanese tourist destination of Nara has developed an alternative to plastic shopping bags, to protect the town's sacred deer.

(The bags are made from rice bran and milk cartons.)


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