Pass the panda poo paper, please!

We here at FP can get a little obsessed with pandas sometimes. (OK, maybe it’s just me.) But here’s proof that the environment is getting its panda on, too: The cuddly bears’ waste can be recycled into paper. Researchers at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base are looking for a paper mill to take the ...

603022_panda15.jpg
603022_panda15.jpg

We here at FP can get a little obsessed with pandas sometimes. (OK, maybe it's just me.) But here's proof that the environment is getting its panda on, too: The cuddly bears' waste can be recycled into paper. Researchers at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base are looking for a paper mill to take the fiber-rich poo and turn it into scribbling pads. They got the idea after visiting a Thai zoo that recycles elephant dung into paper. The pandas in Chengdu produce two tons of feces every day from their bamboo-rich diet. And, as trend-spotters know, bamboo is quickly becoming the material of choice for eco-aware consumers. Bamboo isn't just panda fodder; the tough, fast-growing wood can be made into furniture, floors, and even bedsheets and clothes.

Think about it ... you could get at nearly the whole life cycle with bamboo. It could go into the tummy of an endangered species, come out the other end, be made into paper that you can write on and then stick in your (bamboo) recycling bin when you're done.

We here at FP can get a little obsessed with pandas sometimes. (OK, maybe it’s just me.) But here’s proof that the environment is getting its panda on, too: The cuddly bears’ waste can be recycled into paper. Researchers at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base are looking for a paper mill to take the fiber-rich poo and turn it into scribbling pads. They got the idea after visiting a Thai zoo that recycles elephant dung into paper. The pandas in Chengdu produce two tons of feces every day from their bamboo-rich diet. And, as trend-spotters know, bamboo is quickly becoming the material of choice for eco-aware consumers. Bamboo isn’t just panda fodder; the tough, fast-growing wood can be made into furniture, floors, and even bedsheets and clothes.

Think about it … you could get at nearly the whole life cycle with bamboo. It could go into the tummy of an endangered species, come out the other end, be made into paper that you can write on and then stick in your (bamboo) recycling bin when you’re done.

Christine Y. Chen is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.