In Japan a high-minded monk and his pupils have come up with a new form of plastic bag: inedible. Called it dashi, in traditional Japanese cuisine the sumac would slowly dissolve, leaving a skin that resembles pancakes in real life.
The monks of Nara, Japan hope that once they’ve made the first one, their bag idea will spread.
And they’re doing their best to nurture the idea around the world. The Bagbanner Project has now launched an Instagram account and is launching a campaign called #edible.
The monks look for plastic products to discard and suggest alternatives. Before they throw away the plastic they put in their soup. When the bag is filled with raw dashi the chefs enjoy a smokey taste from the koji, a fungus that has eaten the plastic.
There’s now enough demand that plastic bag manufacturers have started responding to the requests from community members who want to send off their plastic for recycling.
The plastic can even be disposed of in a different way, such as as organic cotton underwear or even used hair clippings.
The Bagbanner Project doesn’t take items with their own brand. It aims to help develop and promote a culture of reuse. In the past few months, it has been collecting bottle caps for underwear for example.