Palm oil is made with fruits taken from African oil palm trees. It’s a popular ingredient that’s found in about half of the products that you might find at the supermarket, like chocolate, cosmetics and cleaning products.
Environmentalists argue that the farming of oil palms is damaging our planet. In order to grow oil palms, forests are being illegally burned down. This releases a huge amount of carbon dioxide, which intensifies the C02 effect. It also destroys animal habitats and drives Indigenous people from their homes. Orangutans are an example of a species that is being pushed to extinction as a result of the cultivation. According to Say No To Palm Oil, over 50,000 orangutans have died due to palm oil deforestation. The destruction also impacts the lives of many children in remote locations due to child labour and human rights violations.
Iceland, a UK supermarket chain, has said that it won’t use palm oil in its own merchandise by the end of this year. It’s the first major UK supermarket to ban the use of the oil. The retailer hopes this decision will lessen the damage the oil is having on our planet. But how can we encourage more supermarkets to follow suit?