Life on Land

Local Japanese Man Invents Edible Bag to Protect Deer

Sacred deer in Nara, Japan.

An entrepreneur from Japan has invented a plastic-free edible bag to save sacred deer in his hometown of Nara, Japan.

The edible bag solution came to Hidetoshi Matsukawa when he heard that the deer were dying from ingesting plastic bags. The 1000 deer live alongside the people of Nara and are a symbol of the town, as well as an official national treasure of Japan. 

Working with the local newsagency to create the materials, the bag paper is called ‘Shikagami’, which translates as ‘deer paper’, and is made from milk cartons and rice bran. The edible bags have been piloted at popular Nara tourist attractions, such as the Todaiji temple, and Matsukawa hopes that as larger businesses sign up to the scheme, he will phase out plastic bags in the region altogether. 

Posted by Claire Edwards 27 November 2020

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