THE ISSUE WITH PALM OIL
Palm oil is a vegetable oil derived from the palm fruit and is most commonly used in food, cosmetics and cleaning products. It’s an industry that is booming but one that contributes significantly to deforestation, climate change, animal cruelty and human rights abuses.
Often cited as the greatest threat to forests and biodiversity in South East Asia, the United Nations Environment Programme estimates that the palm oil industry has the potential to destroy 98% of Indonesia’s remaining forest’s by 2022, while in southern Malaysia, conversion of rainforest into oil palm plantations has resulted in a loss of 77% of bird populations and 83% of butterfly populations. The Orang-utan is another key species under threat due to palm oil production – unless pressure on these precious animals and their habitat eases, they could be wiped out in as little as 20 years.
Unfortunately, even “sustainable” palm oil contains up to 50% non-sustainable palm oil, which is why we are designing all of our products to be palm-oil free. Palm oil is currently used extensively in processed foods and household products, but manufacturers are not required to declare it on their ingredients list, simply calling it ‘vegetable oil’.
Palm oil is popular because it is cheap, stable and prolongs the shelf-life of products. While it may be convenient for manufacturers, there is no doubt that it is wreaking havoc on the environment which is why we are committed to finding healthier, safer alternatives for all of our products.
Image via the World Wildlife Fund.