Good Sh*t: Treeless Paper Made from Elephant Poop


Photo via Future Feeder

The moment we've all been waiting for has finally arrived—when we can finally do all of our writing exclusively on elephant feces. This is no joke—there's a new line of eco-paper available, and for once, the term's not an oxymoron. It's from the Sri-Lankan based company Mr. Ellie Pooh, and yes, the paper really is made out of elephant poop. Even more amazing than the fact that elephant poop paper exists at all is the reason it was created in the first place.Why Harvest Elephant Poop for Paper in Sri Lanka?
To save elephants, of course. It turns out that a tenth of the mere 40,000 Asian elephants worldwide live in Sri Lanka, where they're killed due to their interference with agriculture. There's no major ivory trade, and Sri Lankans don't eat elephant meat, so the sole factor that elephants are being exterminated is because they're a nuisance. Many Sri Lankans have long regarded elephants as dangerous pests that ruin their crops via trampling them, and kill them to protect their livelihood as some Americans kill wolves to protect livestock.

Mr. Ellie Pooh hopes to change that conception by proving that elephants can be valuable to the economy, and thus worth sparing. They feel that the only way to protect the elephants is to change the public's idea of their indisputable value—if Sri Lankans are making an honest living creating paper, and an entirely new market is opened up, there'll be more incentive to find alternative solutions to protecting their crops.

Making Paper Out of Elephant Poop
The paper is made from 75 percent elephant dung (the other 25 is all post-consumer waste), which is collected from elephant orphanages in Sri Lanka.

From Mr. Ellie Pooh:

Since an elephant's diet is all vegetarian, the waste produced is basically
raw cellulose. Thoroughly cleaned and processed, the cellulose is
converted into a uniquely beautiful textured product, marketed as "Ellie
Pooh Paper".

It makes for an "acid free, linen-like papyrus-type paper.

But how Viable can a Poop Paper Industry Be?
If you think the whole idea of paper-from-elephant-poop seems to be a desperate effort—think again. An adult elephant creates 500 pounds of dung a day, making it a very reliable, very renewable resource. Elephant poop paper could prove to be a sustainable, lucrative boon to the Sri Lankan economy.

And there's the fact that the paper uses absolutely no trees in its creation is a huge bonus to eco-minded consumers.

The poopy paper is now being sold by Pixxlz, a Massachusetts based printed products company, so expect to see more of around the US soon. If you'd like to purchase some, it's available in numerous colors and covers and card stocks. And no, it doesn't smell like sh*t.

More on Elephant Poop:
Zoo Poo Power: Elephant Dung for Electricity
Will Melting Mammoth Poo Speed Up Climate Change?

Tags: Animals | Conservation | Economics | Waste