Tourists are flocking to Taman Safari Park in Indonesia to buy an item in their gift shop- poo paper. Made from the dung created by the park’s elephants each day, the recycled paper is made on-site by zoo workers. After the dung is boiled, blended and pressed, the paper is clean and ready to sell to curious tourists.
The power of poo seems to be endless; it can be used to produce green energy and even as a sustainable building material. The safari park looked outside the box when faced with the nearly 2.5 tons of dung produced by resident elephants each day. Part of the dung is reused as fertilizer around the park, but the rest was going to “waste” so to speak.
Workers decided instead to make a kitschy and usable item from the upcycled poop. Since elephants only partially digest their food, their dung is easier to turn into a usable product. Zookeepers first wash and boil the dung, which sterilizes it, removes microbes, and separates the undigested hay from the dung. The mixture is then blended into a pulp with other paper waste, much like traditional paper. The workers then spread the mixture into sheets and allow for it to dry.
The paper is then used for books, posters and photo frames that are printed with safari-themed print and sold in the gift shop. The safari park also hopes that by recycling this poo, the products made will bring attention to how important these animals are and help to safeguard them against poaching.