In Sri Lanka, Eco Maximus is converting elephant poop into paper for upscale stationary. Thusita Ranasinghe founded the company two decades ago and has since grown the company to sales in more than 30 countries. Raw material supply is plentiful, as the massive animals number two up to 18 times a day.
The process involves several steps; first, dung is collected from local elephant rescue centers and dried in the sun, eliminating the smell. “We boil for one hour, to ensure that the dung is germ-free,” Vibhatha Wijeratne, the factory manager, tells Atlas Obscura. It is then mixed with paper scraps, dried, and ironed. The paper sheets are then turned into stationary.
The dung paper replaces conventional paper produced by cutting down trees, and provides employment in Randeniya, a small village in Sri Lanka’s wetlands.