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Environment

Wooden beer bottles and paper straws -- Japan shifts from plastic

Transition creates opportunities for the nation's declining paper industry

A "gel pack" made of wood, left; a beer bottle made of wood fiber and paper eating utensils. (Courtesy Ranpak of the U.S., EcoXpac of Denmark and Hokuetsu of Japan)

TOKYO -- As the digital age gives people fewer reasons to use paper, the material has nevertheless found itself in the global spotlight.

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