Yes, We are right. In Sri-Lanka, Maximus is a company manufacturing handmade paper from Elephant dung.
While Elephant poachers are only interested in the animal’s tusks, these people are more interested in the elephant poop. While some people might be a bit sniffy about the thought of elephant poop turning into paper, it is fact that this small but growing industry is exporting paper to almost 30 countries.
An adult African Elephant produces 50kg of dung from every 250kg of food consumed. 124 A4 sheets of paper can be produced by 50kg of dung.
Who are they?
They introduced the world the art of paper making out of elephant dung in 1997. Started with only 7 employees now they are responsible for the employment of more than 300 people.
The production process is labour intensive which is ideally suited for exploiting local talent ranging from unskilled to semi-skilled. It initially started in Kegalle and later on, it is shifted to Colombo, but produce a bulk of their work in Kegalle.
Production of Paper.
Elephants are not carnivores, so they consume a diet of fruits, vegetables, and leaves. The faeces, which is full of grass and other plant fibre that has been broken down by the elephant’s digestive system, is first thoroughly washed.
“After that, the fibres are cleaned, boiled and the rest of the process is the same as paper making”
Variations in the elephant’s diet, age, and dental state give each batch of a paper a unique colour and texture. Colour depends on the type of food consumed. Texture depends on whether the Elephant is able to chew the food or not. Fully digested fibre gives the paper smooth texture.
This is how they are running their business. Their main aim is to Save Animals and Trees.
Check out there product on Maximus
They have won many awards such as Winner of the World Challenge, Excellence in Social Responsibility.
They have targeted 3 major issues:
- Saving Animals
- Saving Trees
- Producing Employment.
Kenya does the same thing. They are responsible for taking care of 7000 Elephants.
Not only in Sri-Lanka but many other countries like Africa, India has also started using elephant poop to make paper.