How Can We Stop Using So Much Palm Oil?

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You may have seen this week that the Christmas Advert from the frozen food giant Iceland was banned. Not because of its subject matter, but because it was originally made by Greenpeace. Clearcast therefore brands it as ‘political’. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a really moving piece about how the use of palm oil is leading to a devastating loss of habitat for orangutang. We are destroying a lot of rainforest each year in places like Borneo to produce the palm oil needed to make the products we use every day. How can we stop using so much palm oil?

How Can We Stop Using So Much Palm Oil?

How Can We Stop Using So Much Palm Oil?

Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil that we get from palm trees. We use such a lot of this oil that it has become big business to grow these trees on large plantations. Most of the plantations are in Asia, Africa and South America. In fact, 85% of our palm oil comes from Indonesia and Malaysia.

But, in order to make way for these plantations, a football pitch of rainforest is destroyed every 25 seconds.

How Can We Stop Using So Much Palm Oil? - deforestation Deforestation

The rainforest is important habitat to creatures such as orangutang, rhino and many other creatures. The loss of their habitat is an environmental crisis.

It got me thinking. Do you actually know exactly what products contain palm oil? It is contained in many more products than you think. Palm oil is in so many things, and under a whole lot of different guises. Indeed, it could be in lots of products on the shelves in your house under these names:

  • palm oil
  • vegetable oil /vegetable fat
  • palm kernel / palm kernel oil / palm fruit oil
  • palmate / palmitate / palmolein / palmitic acid / etyl palmitate
  • glyceryl
  • stearate / stearic acid / palm stearine
  • sodium laurel sulfate / sodium laureth sulfate / sodium laurel lactylate / sodium palm kernelate
  • elaeis guineensis
  • hydrated palm glycerides

And it also is in many different products. Food, detergents, body care and makeup. All in all, it is in about half the products on the supermarket shelves.

Food.
  • Chocolate
  • Margarine
  • Packaged bread
  • Instant Noodles
  • Ice creams
  • Cookie /biscuit dough
  • pizza bases
  • vegan cheese
  • crisps
Other Products that we use daily
  • shampoo
  • detergents
  • soap
  • lipsticks
  • biodiesel

So how can we stop using so much palm oil? Most notably by considering stopping using or campaigning for more ethical sustainable palm oil to be used in the products that we purchase.

The World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace are both campaigning against brands that aren’t using sustainable sources of palm oil. Brands that currently include Mars, Unilever, PepsiCo, Mondelez (who make Cadbury and Oreo) and Nestle.

how can we stop using so much palm oil?

Look for the RSPO or Green palm label – these state that the product is made with certified sustainable palm oil.

If it doesn’t have these labels, why not write to the company involved and ask them to consider using sustainable palm oil?

Act for Wildlife – a charity led by Chester Zoo, has a great downloadable list of companies that DO use sustainable palm oil producers. Find it here.

So, the upshot of all this? How can we stop using so much palm oil? We probably can’t. But if we all try to make an effort to make the palm oil we buy a more sustainable type we may be able to save Rang-Tan.

What do you think? Do let me know in the comments, or get in touch on social media.

Enjoyed this? Why not read about saving money and the planet in The Kitchen

or how you could be Clearing Stress by Clearing Clutter

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
My Random Musings
Mix It Up Linky

 

JakiJellz

37 Replies to “How Can We Stop Using So Much Palm Oil?”

  1. Crummy Mummy says:

    Misery Guts went to Singapore for work to learn all about Palm Oil recently – it was truly shocking #MMBC

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you for reading. It really is scary what we are doing to our own planet!

      Reply
  2. Carol says:

    It is very depressing when you consider how much of the rainforest is gone and the loss of animals. Great post and thanks for sharing. Pinned and shared. #MMBC

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      It is so depressing. More depressing for me is that it was happening when I was doing my a levels over 30 years ago, and it still is!

      Reply
  3. kerry robinson says:

    Very simple and informative. I saw the advert in the cinema a few months ago and I loved it. I think large companies have an ethical and moral oblligation to at least be replanting what they take – double in fact! I’m trying to use less in the house but it’s in so much stuff and I get the feeling manufacturers will now see an opportunity and raise the prices of palm oil free stuff.
    #mixitup

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I think quite a few companies are being more ethical with their sourcing, but certain massive companies could do more. I just think if we buy from the better companies and not the ones using non-sustainable oil then the less ethical ones may change their ways!

      Reply
    2. Confessions of a New Mummy says:

      A really thought provoking post. I remember reading about this many years ago and I find it absolutely terrifying how much of the rainforests we are destroying. What will be left? Thanks for linking up #twinklytuesday

      Reply
  4. Grainne says:

    That advert is truly heartbreaking, thank you so much for sharing and for such an informative post.

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you for reading. I’d seen so many conflicting things, I needed to do a bit of research for myself

      Reply
  5. Fiona Cambouropoulos says:

    I’ve heard about the issues with palm oil, it seams to be in so much these days but I hate to think we are overusing it and causing more harm to the rain forest. #GlobalBlogging

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Sadly we are clearing rainforest to make way for all the palm oil plantations. If we could do it more sustainably it would be a start!

      Reply
  6. Carly says:

    We definitely need to use more sustainable palm oil. I read an article the other day that said the alternatives to palm oil are actually far more destructive as they don’t produce as much oil so would require even bigger plantations. It’s sad that so much rainforest is still being destroyed though and I’m definitely trying to be more aware of the products I buy.

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      The only thing we can do is put pressure on the companies that DO use unsustainable palm oil, either by writing or not buying them! Thank you for reading.

      Reply
  7. Isabel says:

    Thank you for making us think about this further – it’s scary in how many products palm oils are lurking without it being really obvious to consumers

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you for reading. I’d just read so many things that I wanted to find out the truth to it all.

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I think if we put some pressure on the bad companies using dirty palm oil, it may make a bit of difference!

      Reply
  8. Lydia C. Lee says:

    I saw one of the campaigns you’re talking about and was very disappointed to see l’occitaine were on the ‘could do better’ list as I usually buy a lot of their stuff for xmas gifts. Hopefully they do do better. I do like the campaign that lists who are the good guys, so you know to support them (to encourage the others to get on board) #TwinklyTuesday

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Oh no, I like L’Occitaine products too. Hopefully they will change their ways. Thank you for reading.

      Reply
  9. collette dunn says:

    Really useful information. It’s basically found in just about everything we use on a daily basis. I’m going to be much more aware in the future about what I buy. #triumphanttales

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you, I know that I will be checking on things too!

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you for sharing. I think if we all do our little bit, these major companies may have to change. Hopefully.

      Reply
  10. Jo - Cup of Toast says:

    I think this is such a big concern and although I don’t agree (at all!) with the advert being banned I’m glad that it’s bringing more light to the issue. When we went to the Eden Project recently my boys were alarmed to learn about the negatives of palm oil. It can be hard to avoid but I hope that Iceland inspire other big companies to remove palm oil from their products too. #TriumphantTales

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I actually think that the advert being banned was even better for drawing attention to the whole issue. Lets hope a lot of companies take note! Thank you for reading.

      Reply
  11. mummy here and there says:

    It is scary really but one way would of to not banned awareness adverts like Iceland which is much more improtant airing over consumerism imo X #dreamteam

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I’m not sure if banning it had the desired affect, did it? Just made it even more well known. Which is a great thing.

      Reply
  12. Mummy Snowy Owl says:

    I became aware of palm oil a couple of years ago but it wasn’t until the Iceland advert that I started looking properly at ingredients on the items I was buying. Horrifying that it’s in so much and what us humans keep doing to our planet!
    #anythinggoes

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      It is just crazy that we are cutting down rainforests STILL!

      Reply
  13. Jaki says:

    Iceland has done really well with raising this awareness as I had no idea about any of it. Thank you for sharing with #TriumphantTales

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I’d heard of the palm oil and Nutella a few years ago (Ferrero now use sustainable palm oil btw) but I didn’t realise just how much of an issue it still was. Yes Iceland have truly won Christmas for me this year.

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      That shocked me too, how it is in half the products we use. And yes, almost hidden by using so many different names. Thank you for reading.

      Reply
  14. Heather Keet says:

    I love that you’re bringing attention to such an important issue – we need to cut back on deforestation and switch to sustainable sources! I am proud to say that I’ve cut back on products and switched to using sustainably sourced bath products where available and I hope my palm footprint is decreasing. I am perturbed that so few food products have a sustainable option so I’ve been lobbying my local grocery stores to carry more of them. #GlobalBlogging

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. I really hope that people don’t just forget about all this to let it all be brushed over again. I think a full list is needed of the products that are good, so that we can vote with out purchasing power, as it were!

      Reply
  15. Malin - Sensational Learning with Penguin says:

    Thank you for getting all the facts together and writing such an informative post about this!
    I don’t really appreciate the publicity stunt by Iceland, but I’m happy to see the awareness it seems to have raised, and I hope that people will keep a look out for the sustainable oil. It’s tricky with all the different names though, isn’t it? I very much hope there’s a future for the orangutans! x #MMBC
    Malin – Sensational Learning with Penguin recently posted…24 Activities to Enjoy with Your Child this Advent!My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. I just hope that this topic stays in the public eye. It is about time we realised what damage we are doing!

      Reply

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