Green Innovation: Making Paper From Elephant-Rhino Dung

Abhishek Mazumdar

April 21st, 2016

Image Courtesy: Upaya

Elrhino dung paper is made by the families who live around the forests of Assam (India). They share their home with rhinos, elephants and a variety of diverse flora and fauna. They engage these indigenous folks to roam the woods and collect rhino and elephant dung, as well as leaves, grass, bark, and other forest materials. By combining dung, natural fibres, and forest materials to make paper, they help to reduce deforestation and save energy. They take pride in using an assortment of grass, jute, water hyacinth, pineapple bark, local ahimsa silk, vegetable inks, ferns, flowers, betel nuts, turmeric, tea leaves and dead tree bark to embellish the products.

COMPARED WITH USING VIRGIN WOOD, THE PROCESS CONSUMES 44% LESS ENERGY, PRODUCES 38% LESS GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, 41% LESS PARTICULATE EMISSIONS, 50% LESS WASTE AND 100% LESS WOOD.

All in an effort to protect the forest, its animals and the people that depend on it for their survival. The company manages the entire dung paper production chain including collection, preparation, processing, and sale of finished dung paper goods.

The company sees opportunities to create jobs for and build the skills of people – primarily women – in the rural areas around Guwahati (Assam, India). With its current infrastructure, it has the capacity to produce 15 tonnes of paper per year, which at capacity will equate to approximately 100 full-time jobs in paper processing and an additional 500 part-time jobs through a combination of resource collection and value-add production.

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