Plastic has emerged as one of the most notorious pollutants on the planet as it continues to harm oceans, environment, and wildlife. To tackle the problem a Japanese paper company has come-up with a deer-friendly paper bag to prevent the animal from consuming plastic which leads to their untimely deaths.
Necessity is the mother of invention as they say and in Japan’s case the necessity arose after its national treasure, the Nara Deer, were consuming the deadly plastic. Nara is a small city and former Japanese capital south of Kyoto which houses the native Sika deer for centuries.
Tourists who visit the Nara Park which houses over 1,200 Nara deers fed them snacks which came in plastic wrappers. After feeding the deer some tourists left the plastic wrappers in the park which were later consumed by the deers who mistook it for food.
As a result, deers have been found with unhealthy amounts of plastic in their stomach. To tackle this problem Takashi Nakamura, owner of a paper company at Nara came up with the idea of producing deer-friendly paper bags.According to BBC Japan, Nakamura collaborated with two locals, a cosmetic wholesaler and a designer to work together and create the deer-friendly bag. The bags are made up of recycled milk cartons and rice bran. These are the same ingredients that are used in the deer-friendly crackers which tourists are given to feed the animals.
Speaking to BBC Japan Nakamura said that he has sold around 3,500 bags to six local companies, including Nara city's tourism bureau, a local bank and a pharmacy. The bag was tested by the Japan Food Research Laboratories, which said it was safe for consumption. The site adds each bag costs around 100 yen (Rs 70) while a normal plastic bag typically costs around a few cents.