Today I'm going to talk about elephant dung paper quarantine.
It's one of the most common questions I get asked - How can I use elephant dung paper in my notebooks here in Australia, when so many Aussie travellers have their elephant dung paper products confiscated by customs when they return home?
It's no secret that I love handmade elephant dung paper. I first discovered it almost at the very beginning of my business, when I was on the hunt for more eco friendly papers to use in my work. It is truly beautiful and unique paper. I love its rustic texture, and the gorgeous colours it comes in.
The brand I use is handmade in Sri Lanka, and I love that not only is it environmentally friendly, but proceeds from the sale of the paper help to support an elephant sanctuary and to fund various elephant conservation programs in Sri Lanka. You can read all about how the paper is created and the company behind it here.
I am often asked, when people see the elephant dung paper notebooks on my market stall, how it is that I can use that paper here in Australia, when they themselves, or other folks they know, have had products made from elephant dung paper confiscated by customs when they try to bring them back into the country from overseas.
It's a valid question, and the answer is, because the paper I purchase in Australia has been imported under a special license.
As you well know, I am passionate about our beautiful Earth and always strive to minimise my impact on the environment. While I can understand the frustration some people have with Australia's strict quarantine laws, I myself understand the need for them and I fully support them. I would never do anything to circumvent the law or risk causing harm to our precious flora and fauna, nor would I encourage anyone else to do so.
The elephant dung paper that I use in my work is purchased here in Australia, from a company that has imported it under a special license. The papermaking process itself, as well as storage and shipment of the paper, has to undergo strict inspections and criteria under this license, to ensure it is safe to enter the country. Once in Australia, this paper can be used freely.
To my knowledge, the only other country which shares Australia's strict quarantine laws is New Zealand, and unfortunately, my elephant dung paper notebooks cannot be shipped there. However, most other countries allow import of elephant dung paper products, so you can send the notebooks as gifts to loved ones in those countries with confidence.
So there you have it, that is the reason I am able to use this gorgeous, ecofriendly paper in my books. No elephant dung paper quarantine rules are being broken, so you can feel comfortable about purchasing and enjoying these beautiful books.