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 How do you solve a problem with scallop shell disposal?
How do you solve a problem with scallop shell disposal?

According to the Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, 3.13 million tons of fishery products, including innards and shells, were disposed of in fiscal 2008. Of this, about 190,000 tons of scallop shells were thrown away in Hokkaido alone – thus making the shells an abundant resource.
In 2004 the Hokkaido Research Organization, a Hokkaido government-run body for industrial promotion, made overtures to Kazuhito Nishikawa, of Nihon Rikagaku Industry Co., to assist on a project researching the recycling of fishery shells – the disposal of which is a major problem.
 
After much research through trial and error, Mr Nishikawa determined a perfect ratio of cleaned and pounded scallop shell mixed with the traditionally used limestone-based calcium carbonate. The resulting chalk was well received and thus a patent obtained.
 
Nihon Rikagaku Industry Co. has been so successful in creating a high quality chalk, praised by teachers and others for radiant colors and ease of use, that the company`s factory in Bibai Hokkaido now produces 150,000 chalk sticks per day and recycles about 2.7 million scallop shells annually.
 
Mr Nishikawa further insists that the chalk sticks have another practical usage beyond the classroom. When they become too small to use, they can be buried in flower beds to improve soil quality as the calcium carbonate within has alkalization qualities.
 
Source: Yomiuri Shimbun 2010.