Paper company turns panda poop into household products

AFP
A Chinese company that makes toilet paper, napkins and facial tissue has plans to make products from an unexpected raw material: panda poop.
AFP

When life gave one Chinese company giant panda poop, it decided to make paper — and profits.

Qianwei Fengsheng Paper Company in Sichuan Province has teamed up with the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda to recycle the animal’s faeces and food debris into toilet paper, napkins and other household products, state media reported yesterday.

The goods, soon to be released on the Chinese market, will be marketed as part of a “panda poo” product line decorated with a picture of the bamboo-eating, black-and-white bear.

“They’re taking care of our garbage for us,” Huang Yan, a researcher at the giant panda center, told the Chengdu Business Daily.

Huang said that the 10 kilograms of bamboo poo that adult pandas unleash daily are rich in fiber after absorbing the fructose from the shoots.

In addition to their valuable dung, pandas also produce 50 kilograms of food waste every day from the bamboo husks they spit out after chewing.

While the process of turning bamboo into paper generally involves the breaking down of fructose to extract fiber, this step naturally occurs in the pandas’ digestive tract, the paper company’s president, Yang Chaolin, told Xinhua news agency.

Fengsheng will collect the faeces from three panda bases in Sichuan a couple of times a week. After they are boiled, pasteurized and turned into paper, they will be tested for bacteria before going on sale.

Boxes of “panda poo” tissues will be sold at 43 yuan (US$6.5) each.

“Pandas get what they want and we do too,” Yang said. “It’s a win-win.”


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