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Did you know you could help to save our natural world by swapping products in your kitchen cupboards?
Just swap one product to contain sustainable palm oil instead of unsustainable palm oil, and you will be making a difference.
Palm oil is a fatty vegetable oil produced by squeezing the fleshy fruit harvested from oil palm trees. Palm oil is harvested in Southeast Asia, mainly Indonesia and Malaysia, which produce over 85% of the world's palm oil.
Palm oil is extremely versatile, used in the manufacture and preparation of over 50% of all food products; it keeps butter spreadable, peanut butter smooth, and your potatoes crispy.
As new uses for palm oil have been devised and the global demand for palm oil has increased, farmers have created new plantations by undertaking deforestation (destruction) of vast forest areas. The destruction of these natural areas of forest not only contributes to climate change but is catastrophic for the well-being and, ultimately, the existence of many species, including orangutans in the wild.
It is reported that orangutans will become extinct in the wild within the next 15 years unless we make a change now!
Between 1990 - 2008, palm oil production is said to have been responsible for 8% of the world's deforestation.
Palm oil production provides a livelihood for many farmers. It is one of the most efficient crops, producing more oil per land area than any equivalent vegetable oil crop. Soybean, coconut or sunflower oil would require between 5 and 10 times the amount of land, potentially worsening the problem if we switch to these oils as a substitute.
Our plan is not to boycott palm oil but to demand sustainable palm oil!
We define sustainable palm oil as palm oil extracted from the fruits of trees that were planted without destroying any forested area or any habitats in the process.
We can help to ensure that the palm oil we use in the future is sustainable by guaranteeing all the products we use are accredited by the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
We have launched a campaign in partnership with Chester Zoo, it is ambitious but would be hugely beneficial for Blackpool. We want Blackpool to be the second-ever community to become palm oil sustainable in the world. Read more about the project here.
At Blackpool Zoo, we are alarmed by the levels of deforestation impacting biodiversity and affecting our planet in many ways.
We are initially focussing on palm oil sustainability and are incredibly close to being completely palm oil sustainable across ALL our departments, from our catering department to animal feed. We are committed to using the zoo's resources to help educate the local businesses in our community and work closely with them to help them become palm oil sustainable as well.
We are supporting the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) which is the primary body for sustainable palm oil standards, and endorse the efforts they take to ensure that sustainable palm oil is the norm.
How do I know if my favourite products contain unsustainable Palm Oil?
There is an App! The Palm Oil Scan App, developed and led by palm oil experts from Chester Zoo in the UK, Auckland Zoo in New Zealand and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in the USA, allows everybody to scan any product to see how the manufacturers are sourcing their palm oil.
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