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The survival of the Orangutan is in the palm of our hands.
August 19th 2018 is International Orangutan Day. This is a day that is close to our hearts here at Montville Soap Company. As a skincare company that prides ourselves on producing the highest quality product with our own unique recipes, it is important to us that our products are not only great for your skin but also kind to the planet and all of its inhabitants. This mission has put us hard at work deigning recipes that ensure we never use palm oil or any of its derivatives.
WHAT IS PALM OIL?
Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree. It is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet, used by the food industry, the cosmetics industry and for feedstock and biofuel. It is used because it is the cheapest vegetable oil, it is bland in taste so it doesn’t affect the flavour of the food, it increases shelf life and it has a very high smoke point.
Palm oil is used to manufacture pre-packaged food, cosmetics, cleaning products, shampoos and conditioners, soaps, candles, and personal care items. It is used in more than half of all packaged products in the supermarket. In fact, every single brand of shampoo and conditioner found in the supermarket uses palm oil.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH PALM OIL?
Due to the overwhelming demand for this oil, palm oil companies have rapidly expanded their oil palm plantations and production. To do so they must clear vast areas of old and irreplaceable rainforests which contain fragile ecosystems and provide habitats of critically endangered species such as Orangutans, Elephants and Tigers. This one product, is the reason why Indonesia is being deforested faster than any other country in the world.
Not only is this having a major effect on endangered species but it is also playing a critical role in climate change due to the greenhouse gas emissions and pollution it causes as well as reducing the amount of vegetation available to capture and store carbon dioxide.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE ORANGUTANS?
Orangutans are on the brink of extinction and are now classified as critically endangered. Deforestation for palm oil production is the main threat to the survival of the Orangutan species. It is estimated that no less than 5000 Orangutans are killed every year and, if this rate keeps up, they will be completely wiped from the planet within the next 25 years or less.
Orangutans live in the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo and depend on the rainforest for food and shelter. Orangutans whose homes have been destroyed face starvation and often wander into villages and plantations in search of food. This is when they become easy prey for poachers who kill or capture them for financial gain are well as farmers who consider them to be an agricultural pest.
Orangutans are left to starve with no food, are run over by excavation equipment, doused with petrol and burnt alive, tortured, beaten and shot. Infant Orangutans are also pried from the arms of their dead mother to be sold as pets.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
You, as a consumer, are the key to protecting these magnificent creatures. To help reduce the decline in Orangutan numbers and potentially save this species from extinction, consumers can shop responsibly by choosing products that are palm oil free.
It is not always easy to identify palm oil in a product as there are over 200 different names used for it and it’s derivates on labels. Many products simply label it as “vegetable oil”. As a general rule, if the saturated fat content in a product is around 50% then the “vegetable oil” is most likely to be palm oil. Another major name to look out for is Sodium Laureth or Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.
Much can be achieved simply by choosing palm oil free products when you are shopping.
Say NO to palm oil!