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2022 Rewind: Creative initiatives in Japan to combat food, plastic waste

The world is making efforts to combat waste for a sustainable future. Here are some initiatives taken around Japan to reduce waste, from food to plastic, one small step at a time.

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    "Bread Weizen" and crusts cut from white bread, one of the beer's ingredients, are seen in Kitakyushu's Kokurakita Ward on July 11, 2022. (Mainichi/Emi Aoki)

    <<Japan bakery, brewery battle food waste by turning bread crusts into craft beer>>

    KITAKYUSHU -- A brewery and a bakery here have joined forces to develop "Bread Weizen," a low-malt beer made from bread crusts trimmed from loaves used for school lunches. Full story.

    Persimmon ice pops are seen in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture. (Mainichi/Hiroshi Higa)

    <<Japanese company launches ice pops using persimmons headed for the garbage heap>>

    KURUME, Fukuoka -- A travel agency in this southwest Japan city has launched ice pops using local persimmons that would otherwise have landed in the garbage. Full story.

    This photo provided by Kindai University shows biocoke made from plant materials.

    <<Japanese firms look to plant-based, carbon-neutral 'biocoke' fuel to cut CO2 emissions>>

    OSAKA -- Biocoke, a solid fuel made from vegetable waste materials, is attracting attention as technology to help push the shift to a decarbonized society. Developed in 2005 by Kindai University in Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, it is a "dream solid fuel" that is said to emit virtually no carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned. Full story.

    Mikihiro Shigenobu, right, wears a mask he made using real boar tusks. It is supposed to be worn over an ordinary mask. (Photo courtesy of Shimanami Inoshishi Katsuyoutai)

    <<West Japan islanders start selling boar tusks, masks online to cut waste>>

    IMABARI, Ehime -- Farmers, hunters and others on islands in Japan's Seto Inland Sea have started selling wild boar tusks and masks, in addition to boar meat and leather, online in a bid to reduce waste from the extermination of the animals, which are considered pests. Full story.

    A 100% cardboard-based hanger (provided by Ursa Group)

    <<Cardboard hangers for dry cleaners developed in Fukuoka Pref. to reduce plastic waste>>

    FUKUOKA -- Two companies based in southwest Japan's Fukuoka Prefecture have developed all-cardboard clothes hangers that can be used in dress shirt bagging machines as they aim to reduce plastic waste. Full story.

    The 100% biodegradable resin guitar pick Zero is pictured at Nishibata Blow Industry Co. in the city of Fukui. (Mainichi)

    <<Japan plastics firm rocks out for environment with new 100% biodegradable guitar picks>>

    FUKUI -- A plastics maker here has developed a completely biodegradable guitar pick to raise awareness about environmental issues, particularly plastic waste. Full story.

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