Big brands destroying rainforests

It has been reported in The Times today that Unilever has been exposed as contributing to the destruction of rainforests by buying thousands of tons of illegal palm oil for use in its products such as Dove toiletries, Persil washing powder and Flora and Stork margarines.  Although the company claims to be a leader in protecting the rainforests and chairs the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) it was informed 2 years ago about their supplier Sinar Mas's illegal activities.  It has cancelled its £20million contract with them in the last few days after learning that Greenpeace was about to go public with the evidence.

Deforestation contributes 15-20% of global greenhouse gas emissions and the growth of the palm oil industry in Indonesia has turned it into the third largest emitter of CO2 after China and the US. It loses forests the size of Wales each year.  The deforestation includes protected areas such as reserves for the endangered orang-utan population.  Unfortunately the RSPO is a self regulated body with self interests and is pretty ineffectual at stopping the destruction.  Its important therefore that people are aware of the connection between the destruction of rainforests and the products they buy and avoid brands made with unsustainable palm oil.

It is not that difficult.  We have some great products which do not use illegal palm oil, for example, Soapy Chica's lovely soaps, Maya's gorgeous organic body butters and Freyaluna and Woolcakes' natural goodies.  Our candles are also made of soy wax and not palm oil such as Pure Light and I Conjure.


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