02:51 - Source: CNN
Edible tableware creates greener tomorrow

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Story highlights

Disposable tableware is convenient but damaging for the environment

In Japan, a small family business is hoping to extend dinner past just the items on your plate

Marushige Seika K. K has developed a range of edible tableware

CNN  — 

The short lives of disposable tableware: convenient, yet wasteful. In a Japanese fishing town, Hekinan, 300 kilometers west from Tokyo, a small family business is offering a greener alternative. Smart Business meets Sakakibara Katsuhiko, who’s innovating in the world of edible crockery.

CNN: How did you first come up with the concept of edible tableware?

Sakakibara Katsuhiko: When I go to food festivals, I see bins filled with garbage, and I wondered if our manufacturing technology could do something to change it. So we decided to go beyond ice cream cones and to develop plates that are edible. The key question was how to strengthen the waterproof-ness for the plates.

CNN: You currently use shrimp, salt and potato starch to create the plates. Do you plan to develop their flavor further?

SK: We are going to create a variety of flavors for the plates so that people can pair them with more food. I think it would be interesting if we could also make edible knives and folks. That would really cut down the waste.

CNN: What are your ambitions for the future of the company?

SK: Japan will host the Tokyo Olympic Games in six years’ time, and I want to provide edible plates for the Games (in 2020).

CNN: How do you see Marushige Seika K. K’s development in the years to come?

SK: Our town has vibrant agriculture and fishing industry. Whenever I think about one day passing on this town to our children, I just think we simply have to make our business more environmentally friendly.

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