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Maximus, winner of World Challenge in 2006, is a papermaking firm that makes high-quality products from a variety of wastes, including paper from offices and bark from banana trees. The firm set up shop in Kegalle, Sri Lanka, in 1997, not far from an elephant orphanage. In Sri Lanka there is competition between elephants and a growing human population for land.

The proximity of elephants was a boon for the papermakers; for as they soon discovered elephant dung is an ideal raw material for paper products they began a range of elephant-dung paper to draw attention to the plight of the Sri Lankan elephant. This unusual product has found buyers within Sri Lanka and throughout the world.

A proportion of the sales are donated to the elephant orphanage. But elephants are not the only beneficiaries. Maximus provides an income for 35 staff, and its recently established ‘Peace Paper’ scheme helps rural people earn money from collecting dung from wild elephants