It all began with bread crusts — lots and lots of bread crusts.

Tatsuya Sakamaki, owner of bread manufacturer Bongout in the Saitama city of Kawaguchi, was troubled by the bags of crusts that would accumulate from the 50 loaves of white sandwich bread he prepared two or three times per month for children at local day care centers.

Sakamaki couldn't reuse the crusts and had no other choice but to throw them out with the trash.