Extreme recycling: Haathi Chaap, paper made from elephant dung

Stationery made of elephant dung. Among the entrepreneurial ventures I discovered while browsing through the sustainable products distributed by Raxa Collective at Cardamom County, this one must be my favorite. I had seen goat dung dried and then mixed with dirt to build houses in Masai villages in Kenya, but I had never seen tools or products made out of dung. 

Mahima Mehra and Vijendra Shekhawat were struck by this let’s say original idea when visiting Amber Fort near Jaipur, where they live. Walking up behind a long line of elephants Vijendra noticed how much their dung looked like the paper pulp from which he produced paper everyday.

After a series of trials and errors, and the elaboration of a safe, hygienic and efficient transformation process the pair created the brand Haathi Chaap  (literally  the “Prints of the Elephant”.).  Every 1,000 kg of dung yields around 150 kg of pulp. This pulp is used to create humorous stationery:  notebooks, board games, and a notepad in the form of a toilet roll. They do make for a fun, unsettling present, don’t they ?

Do you know of other ‘extreme recycling’ products ?

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