This ‘edible’ plastic bag alternative could save Nara’s sacred deer from starving
A “coral-pink” plastic bag could be used as a substitute for a precious deer’s staple food, if the government’s plan to raise its population from 10,000 to 20,000 was successful.
The plastic bag, called nara no naru, had been the only food supply for the deer in the past decades. Their hooves have become so tough that the animal is unable to walk.
To make up for the shortage, this “edible and nutritious” plastic bag could be used instead.
Around 1.3 million of the bags will be distributed for free to those who are living in the three prefectures – Yamaguchi, Chugoku and Kinki, where the population is under or close to 10,000. Those living in the Kansai area, with a population of 24.6 million, will receive one bag.
The campaign is part of a nationwide effort to reach 20,000 deer by the year 2021. The government has earmarked 5.76 billion yen (US$58 million) for the nationwide project.
The campaign has also seen some celebrities join to promote the campaign.
Actors Kenichi Matsuyama, Hiroki Matsushita and Daisuke Murata, along with former Prime Minister Hidenori Fukuda, sang the campaign song “Nara no naru!” using flute in their movie “The Deer Hunters of Nara”.
(Japanese original: “Nara no naru!”)
They added: “If we can save the deer, we can save our environment from natural disasters.”
Yukiko Oto, president of “Nara no naru” and a member of the “Nara Deer Association”, adds: “I hope the campaign will be successful.”
(Japanese original: “Nara no n