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“When life hands you panda poop, make paper,” says a recent story on the Washington Post.
That’s right, there’s a new paper in town, and it’s made out of panda feces!
Apparently, the high fiber diet of pandas makes their poop great for paper. Ok, so that actually does make sense once you think about it.
Will it be coming to a store near you?
The answer to that question is probably not… yet.
USA Today reported that the head of Chiang Mai Zoo’s panda unit said:
“We tried selling it [panda poo paper] on markets outside [the zoo] but so far with not so much success. But in the zoo, when people see real pandas and then their product they’re excited and buy.”
The zoo does report that enough panda poo paper is sold at the zoo to actually balance the costs of keeping the pandas! I guess they really can’t beat that.
So where did the idea for panda poo paper come from?
The above mentioned Washington Post story mentions that Liao Jun, a researcher at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base in Sichuan province, says the idea came to them after a visit to Thailand last year where they found paper made from elephant dung: “They thought panda poop would produce an even finer quality paper.”
Liao Jun also said:
“We are not interested in doing this for the profits but to recycle the waste,” said Liao. “It’s environmentally friendly. We can use the paper ourselves, and also we can sell whatever is left over.”
Can such a thing be any level of sanitary?
Yes. The folks at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base say that most people won’t even realize the paper is made from panda poo. All I can say is, “Shit, I hope not!” (pun intended).
No, seriously, the Chiang Mai Zoo says:
“Panda poop paper production involves a day long process of cleaning the feces, boiling it in a soda solution, bleaching it with chlorine and drying it under the sun.”
“Experimentation continues on how to reduce the chemicals now used,” reports the above USA Today story.
Would you buy paper produced from elephant, panda, or any other type of animal feces?
I think every little step toward living green is an awesome one… but eco-snobbery sucks! My goal is to help newbies learn the most important steps toward living green — individually and collectively. Personally, I strive to have as little impact as possible on Planet Earth while I'm here.