How to cut out palm oil – not trees

How to cut out palm oil – not trees

Palm Oil is a cheap, efficient form of vegetable oil, but a lot of rich tropical habitat is being destroyed to make way for it.

What is palm oil? 
Palm oil is a type of edible vegetable oil that comes from the palm fruit grown on the African oil palm tree.Oil palm plantations are grown in tropical climates in Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. The most efficient plant based oil to produce, palm oil yields between 6-10 times more oil per hectare than alternative oil crops like sunflower, olive, soybean or rapeseed.

By exercising your right to choose what you buy, you can help shift the demand and focus on to sustainably farmed palm oil

 

Why should we pay attention to palm oil?
Palm oil accounted for around 8% of global deforestation between 1990 and 2008! 85% of all palm oil globally produced and exported is from Indonesia and Malaysia, where the main driver of deforestation is to grow oil palm plantations, and a third of all mammal species in Indonesia are critically endangered as a consequence of unsustainably farmed palm oil. 

This rapid development displaces not only wildlife, but people too, with many communities being forcibly displaced, and in some cases, being forced into work as labourers. Irresponsibly managed plantations are often illegally burned when they exhaust their productivity, causing harmful, far-ranging smog.

What can I do?
Palm oil is found in up to half of packaged products in UK supermarkets, including 71% of food products and 24% of other consumer goods, meaning that there is a lot of power in your hands. By exercising your right to choose what you buy, you can help shift the demand and focus on to sustainably farmed palm oil!

  1. Check the label: It is EU law for food products to clearly label palm oil when it is used, so checking the ingredient list will do the trick. Be extra aware of foods that commonly contain palm oil such as sliced bread, crisps, and biscuits. Try to buy food marked with a sustainable palm oil logo.
  2. Make your own: Making your own food from raw ingredients means you can control exactly what goes in to your food. So next time you're eyeing up a ready meal or frozen pizza, why not have a go at making your own? 
  3. Write to companies: Sustainable palm oil won't become the norm unless there is enough demand for it. Writing to companies using unsustainable palm oil in their products to let them know it matters to you shows them that people won't buy their products without knowing they are responsibly sourced.

EU palm oil labelling laws do not extend to non-food items. Unfortunately, palm oil can be disguised behind thousands of misleading names, and is often found in items including laundry detergents, washing up liquid, cosmetics, soaps and shampoos. Doing your research on or contacting companies requires a little more dedication, but will give you the answers you're looking for!

Eco-friendly shopping

Don't get caught out!
EU palm oil labelling laws do not extend to non-food items.

Unfortunately, palm oil can be disguised behind thousands of misleading names, and is often found in items including laundry detergents, washing up liquid, cosmetics, soaps and shampoos.

Doing your research on or contacting companies requires a little more dedication, but will give you the answers you're looking for!