An innovative technique for making paper products from elephant poo has led to financial support to preserve the elephants of Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan elephants produce 100 kg of dung per day and Maximus founder, Thusitha Ranasinghe discovered that this cellulose-rich substance makes an ideal raw material for paper products. Maximus now make a range of products using their elephant-dung paper, which helps to draw attention to the plight of the Sri Lankan elephant, which competes for land with a growing human population.
Maximus paper production was set up in 1997, not far from an elephant orphanage. The proximity of elephants was a boon for the papermakers; for as they soon discovered elephant dung is an ideal raw material for paper products they began a range of elephant-dung paper to draw attention to the plight of the Sri Lankan elephant. A proportion of the sales are donated to the elephant orphanage. But elephants are not the only beneficiaries. Maximus provides an income for 35 staff, and its recently established 'Peace Paper' scheme helps rural people earn money from collecting dung from wild elephants.
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