JUN 08, 2018 1:26 PM PDT

Video: Paper Made From What?

WRITTEN BY: Julia Travers

Paper fiber has been made from many materials over the years -- wood, rice, cotton and hemp, for example. A new process out of Sri Lanka is breaking the mold on paper sourcing by making it from elephant waste, AKA dung or poop.

Because elephants are vegetarians, their dung is full of useful fiber. As the clip shows, the poop goes through drying, cleaning, dyeing, compressing, smoothing and cutting phases in order to become sheets of eco-friendly paper.

Note paper and journals sourced from the poop of eight very “productive” elephants are now sold in 30 countries around the globe. As the narrator Nas points out, this process saves trees and benefits the local economy.

The company producing this paper is called Maximus -- learn more at ecomaximus.com. They began this project in 1997.

“Our strategic intent has been to develop in a direction that attempts to marry the interests of job creation, wildlife protection, elephant conservation and rural empowerment through the production of beautiful, aesthetically pleasing gift products made by hand from 100 percent waste material,” the business site explains.

About the Author
  • Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher. She frequently covers science, tech, conservation and the arts. She enjoys solutions journalism. Find more of her work at jtravers.journoportfolio.com.
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