In the event that they stay on the same site, they’ll often use potentially harmful fertilisers to boost their soils. As palm oil demand increases, palm plantations are increasing on a massive scale, and native forests are being cut down across the landscape. This leads to disputes and even violence on occasion. Climate Change or Global Warming, Which Term is More Correct? Should we be trying to eliminate these products from our homes and boycotting palm oil supply? Orangutans live high in the forest canopy and their habitat is a prime target for expanding palm oil operations. “ Around 90% of the world’s oil palm trees are grown on a few islands in Malaysia and Indonesia – islands with the most biodiverse tropical forests found on Earth. So big that you don’t even need to zoom on Google Earth to see the damage. These man-made mono cultures are harming on a neighborhood and a worldwide environmental level. Keep buying our products". These loses are not measured in GHG emissions. However, it is possible to purchase products made with palm oil deemed sustainable. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Please leave your comments or questions below. Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil-based food and product additive on the planet. © Copyright UpCircle 2020. Take a look at this excellent article from The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Saying ‘no’ to palm oil would likely displace, not halt biodiversity loss – IUCN report, I hope you found this article useful and if you did, you know what to do. They are often written by those with the most to gain from one side of the debate. Palm oil has become one of the world’s leading causes of rainforest destruction. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. The most concerning have been rainforest habitat and peatlands that have been cleared for this purpose. Be it bread, crisps, those weird instant noodle things or even shampoo – the chances are you’ll see a reference to palm oil hidden in the small print. Why is Palm Oil Bad for the Environment? more carbon per unit area than any other ecosystem in the world.”, “Due to its high deforestation rate, Indonesia is the third-largest global emitter of greenhouse gasses.”. When forests are burned to make way for palm plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia, the smoke generated by these fires has led to a major increase in air pollution throughout much of these two regions, including in Singapore and other cities. As the peat dries out, it becomes highly flammable, leading to an increased risk of fires. This is because they store humongous quantities of organic matter, which are a large global source of carbon. As we don't have labels on our bar soaps, Natural French soap ensures all of our palm oil is sustainably certified. Palm oil is used in a wide variety of products worldwide such as peanut butter, bread, cosmetics, cookies, and many more. Brands understand that people might be trying to avoid palm oil and often give it different names in their ingredient lists such as “vegetable oil” or “vegetable fat”. Rainforests' soils hold about 45% of the world's terrestrial carbon, cutting them down is like releasing a carbon bomb. However, the environmental impact of palm kernel oil continues to be a hot topic of debate. Once peat is set on fire, it can burn for many months both aboveground and underground. On the flip side, some support the use of palm oil for the value it gives to the economic development of smaller poorer countries through trade. Palm oil is bad for the environment, because: Palm oil is one of the leading causes of DEFORESTATION, and deforestation is responsible for 15% of global warming. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. This includes food, shampoo, soap, bread, cooking oil, lipstick and more. It’s a fast-growing tree that produces funky looking red fruit. Palm oil leads to deforestation. Oh, and if you thought it was at least healthy, think again.When you imagine things high in saturated fat they tend to be solid; butter, lard and coconut oil (sorry to break the myth) all spring to mind. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. Why, you ask? Our goal is to inspire people to change their attitudes and behaviors toward a more sustainable life. Just to be clear, palm oil isn’t popular because it’s the best. Here in the UK public perceptions slowly ( very slowly ) are being altered, we have some manufacturers actually making it clear on their packets that the palm oil is from sustainable sources, a definite plus.Take care. It is important that the message is about using Palm oil from sustainable sources and not about stopping the use of palm oil altogether. “Burning is a common method for clearing vegetation in natural forests as well as within oil palm plantations”. Palm oil is used in a wide variety of products worldwide such as peanut butter, bread, cosmetics, cookies, and many more. For more information on which producers are taking these critical steps, read the World Wildlife Fund’s Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard: Our present consumption of items containing palm oil is unsustainable. It initially appears as a reddish-brown liquid before being refined into a white solid. forests in Indonesia is particularly damaging, as these “carbon sinks” store Habitat destruction is the problem that is easiest to see, but the clearing of natural rainforests that trap CO2 and absorb water leads to further environmental disasters and the oil palm “green desserts” grown are virtually devoid of biodiversity. The biggest impact here can come from companies like Unilever that use palm oil in their process demanding sustainability. Virtually all countries have laws and regulations in place to prevent land-grabs. Peatlands are a type of wetland, where the soils are composed of decomposed vegetation (peat). Firstly, what is palm oil and where does palm oil come from? The effects of deforestation are numerous and severe. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Globally palm oil plantations now cover 270,000 square kilometers of the earth surface, that’s larger than the whole of the UK, The UK government is has a commitment in place to make sure 100% of all the palm oil used in the UK comes from sustainable sources and the amount coming into the country on the surface looks to moving the right direction. The destruction of tropical rainforests was one of the causes of death for 150.000 orangutangs in the last few years. A certification process has been put in place, and many global companies have committed to purchasing from farms which meet the strict guidelines for sustainable farming. They’re therefore used in a range of creams, lotions and potions to stop the skin from drying out, maintaining a nice healthy glow. COSMOS-Approved Vegan Ingredients: No SLS, SLEs, palm oil, silicones, parabens, mineral oil, parfum or sulfates. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Palm oil can also be added to this list, comprising over 50% saturated fats. Palm oil is desirable to so many industries because it has a high melting point, it is for instance solid at room temperature, much like animal fat, but the core reason for its success is that it is far more cost effective to produce than any alternatives and has no nasty trans fats. Produced from the fruit of oil palm trees (as opposed to sweaty palms), palm oil is the most popular kind of vegetable oil in the world. In total, palm oil plantations are now thought to cover more than 27 million hectares. When forests are cleared to establish palm oil plantations, the uncovered soil is left vulnerable to erosion. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? When tropical peatland forests are drained and are converted into palm oil plantations, such forest conversions are a large source of greenhouse gas emissions. Oil palms are tropical plants that thrive in the wet, warm climate of tropical rainforests. The problem is that oil palm only grows well in extremely hot and humid conditions with regular rainfall. A product of oil palm trees it is an edible oil used in a significant number of products, the oil palm trees in question are native to West Africa, there is also an American oil palm but the West African oil palm is the most widely used. The creation of massive plantations has meant these rich ecosystems have been replaced with monocultures – “green deserts” in which native animals and plants cannot thrive. Around 66 million tonnes of palm oil are thought to be produced every year and by some estimates the substance is found in half of all packaged goods in UK supermarkets. Do you have any references for those stats you referenced? 6,000 5* REVIEWS | FREE UK SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER £20, A gentle eye cream to brighten, refresh and renew, reducing. :). The demand for palm oil is expected to more than double over the next 5 years, leaving many environmentalists concerned about the further impact on the ecosystems and communities impacted by deforestation. Let us know if you liked this article. For more about how we use cookies, please see our, Let's help save the King of the Swingers - The Orangutan  -. Sadly, these rich, biodiverse ecosystems are being destroyed to make way for oil palm plantations — at alarming rates.

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