Giant pandas are a national treasure, and the panda’s feces are also a kind of treasures! On the 18th, the China Giant Panda Conservation Research Center officially signed a cooperation agreement with a paper production company.
The research center agreed to supply feces of giant pandas and food residues to the company for the production of household paper. At present, this “panda poop paper” has become available, and its price is not cheap at all.
On the afternoon of the 18th, a reporter learned from the Dujiangyan Base of the China Giant Panda Conservation Research Center, that the panda food residues and feces of the three major panda bases in Dujiangyan, Wolong and Bifengxia would be recycled and reused through washing and choosing, cooking and high-temperature disinfection. Then, plant fibers are extracted to be produced as panda poop paper.
The head of the research and development department of the Research Center told the Chengdu Business Daily that an adult giant panda eats 12-15 kilograms of bamboo a day. After panda digests its food, it is turned into more than 10 kilograms of feces.
Panda feces are called “green balls”. When they become slightly dry, they shall see that the ingredients of the “green balls” are actually finely divided bamboo joints. With the bamboo not entirely consumed, most of it becomes residues. Each giant panda produces about 50 kilograms of bamboo residues per day.
These bamboo residues and panda feces had previously been cleaned up when the breeders were cleaning the pens; they were treated as garbage and partially used for composting.
This practice causes a certain degree of pollution, and it is more troublesome to handle. It is certainly a good thing for the research center to collect their feces and bamboo residues, then make paper out of it.
The company disposed of the waste for the research center, and the pandas also facilitated the process for papermaking.
According to experts, after the panda finishes eating bamboo, their feces would be discharged after about 4 hours. Giant pandas mainly absorb nutrients such as polysaccharides in the bamboo, and bamboo fibers are excreted in the form of feces.
In the bamboo papermaking process, one of them is the accumulation of materials, degradation of fructose and obtaining bamboo fiber. “From now on, pandas will help us finish this step, as this is already done in their digestion. The remaining fibers in the panda feces are extracted to make papers. Such a method would help us achieve a win-win situation.
The three panda bases are distributed in Dujiangyan, Ya’an and Wolong. They provide a large amount of bamboo residues and feces every month, and the paper production company collects these paper materials intensively every 3 to 7 days.
These raw materials are mainly used for the production of tissue papers such as napkins, rolled papers and handkerchief papers. “Currently, we do not produce papers used for writing.”
Some people may wonder – are papers made from panda feces hygienic at all? According to experts, there are 60 procedures in the production of panda poop papers. All is done through the process of cleaning, steaming, and high temperature steaming with oxygen for medical use.
Bacterial testing is also carried out before the papers leave the factory to be sold. This is to ensure that the products meet national safety standards. The reporter saw logos of the US and EU CE marking on the packaging of the products.
Comparing to the usual paper making procedure, there is an extra step of high temperature sterilization and disinfection in producing panda poop paper. The cost of production and sales price are thus higher. It is more welcomed by consumers with a strong environmental concept.