Why You Should Choose Palm Oil Free Products

Why You Should Choose Palm Oil-Free Products (To Save The Orangutans!)


Palm oil, to put it simply, is the most popular vegetable oil produced and consumed in the world. 


Because it’s cheap, and an efficient oilseed crop, it’s used in just about every product we consume, from shampoos to lipsticks to peanut butter and everything in between.



Which products contain palm oil?


Palm oil is used in products for various reasons. For example, in soaps and shampoos, palm oil helps create foams and bubbles which remove dirt and oil from your skin and hair. In lipsticks, it helps achieve a smooth, color-rich application for many cosmetic brands. 


Palm oil is also commonly used in food such as ice cream, bread, instant noodles, chocolate, cookies, and so on.


Here are some of the most common products that may contain palm oil:

  • Soaps and Shampoos
  • Lipstick
  • Peanut Butter
  • Ice Cream
  • Chocolates
  • Pizza Bases
  • Butter/ Margarine
  • Cookies,  biscuits, crackers
  • Bread
  • Instant Noodles
  • Detergent
  • Face wash
  • Biodiesel

These are a few common products that contain palm oil - both regular and “sustainable”. 


When shopping, you might want to keep these products in mind and check for the ingredients. Palm oil goes by many different names. Luckily, WWF has listed some derivatives for palm oil. Look out for these ingredients:


Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hydrated Palm Glycerides, Ethyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmitoyl Alcohol


Why is palm oil bad for the environment?


Now, these products are so common in our lives that we often don’t check whether they are good for us or the environment. How they could possibly affect the Earth and the beings that live in it.

  

So how did palm oil become a problem?


The problem doesn’t lie in the palm oil or the palm oil plantations themselves. However, the impact of palm oil production is that it causes large-scale devastation of tropical forests. This loss of natural forest habitat has decimated wildlife species such as orangutans.


How is deforestation affecting the orangutans?


Orangutans are only found in the rainforests of Southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra. They spend almost their entire lives in trees, swinging and building nests to rest. 


Palm oil fruits from which palm oil is extracted are best grown within the tropical rainforest regions. The increasing demand for palm oil leads to a continuous need for palm oil expansion around the globe. Which then leads to more and more deforestation. 


Deforestation is the greatest threat to orangutans’ survival. The rainforest, which is the orangutans’ natural habitat, is being cleared for the benefit of palm oil production. Half of the Bornean orangutan population has been wiped out in just 16 years.


As the vast plantation of palm oil trees continues to expand, widespread clearing of natural forests follows with concerning consequences. One of which leaves the orangutans, tigers, and many other wildlife species without a home. 


In addition to the destruction of their natural habitat, the alarming level of deforestation has resulted in concerningly high Carbon Dioxide levels and harmful loss of biodiversity.


What can we do to help stop the environmental damage caused by palm oil production and save orangutans (and other wildlife species)?


There are many ways to help stop environmental damage from palm oil, the best of which is to simply SAY NO TO PALM OIL!


You, as a consumer, can actively make a decision whether or not to buy such products containing palm oil. Supporting and opting for palm oil-free products will definitely help. Click here to browse palm oil-free Shampoo & Conditioner Bars by Pack & Leaf.


Beware of so-called “sustainable” palm oil. Some brands use regular palm oil, some use “sustainable”, and there are also a few that use a mixture of both. Unfortunately, even certified “sustainable” palm oil producers are still destroying forests. I highly recommend you do your own research into just how “sustainable” the palm oil is, when more and more natural forest habitat is being cut down.

Educating yourself further and knowing which products and which brands to avoid when you’re out shopping is a great start.


You can also help by supporting animal-based charities like WWF or Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. To find out more about the BOS Foundation and Pack & Leaf’s adopted orangutan Jelapat, click here.

Make a donation to the BOS Foundation with redapes.org