Contact lens cleaning technology developed by Menicon in Japan has helped restore the natural habitat of the Japanese Crested Ibis, one the country’s national treasures.
To let the birds feed on small water creatures, farmers on the island in Niigata Prefecture have been leaving their rice fields submerged, even during winter. However, this means they cannot clear out leftover rice straw, which subsequently interferes with rice cultivation as the straw cannot be decomposed by microorganisms.
Instead, it is left underwater to rot at the bottom of the fields, inhibiting the growth of seeds for the following year’s harvest.
Menicon used its stain removal technology to create a substance to accelerate the decomposition of rice straw. The substance, sold in 2kg bags, can be sprinkled on rice fields and encourages more farmers to leave them flooded after harvest.