The United Nations warns that orangutans could become extinct within a generation due primarily to habitat destruction. Healthy, old-growth rainforests needed by orangutans are being bulldozed at an alarming rate to replace with lucrative Oil Palm plantations.
What is palm oil?
Palm oil is an ingredient found in many packaged supermarket products like biscuits, toothpaste and eye makeup. Some estimates say that over 50% of the products in our own pantries have palm oil in them.
No wonder the forests are in such trouble!
How can you tell which products you are buying have palm oil in them?
Australian consumers currently can’t tell whether their shopping habits are contributing to this crisis because most manufacturers are not transparent about their use of palm oil or their sources. Not only that but they use up to 200 other names to disguise the palm oil in their products – like ‘palmitate’, ‘beta carotene’ and even good old ‘vegetable oil’. The only thing that will compel them to be honest about what they’ve put in their products is labelling laws.
What is Perth Zoo doing?
Perth Zoo has joined forces with other Australasian zoos to support Zoos Victoria’s ‘Don’t Palm Us Off’ campaign, advocating for a future where palm oil is specifically labelled. We also want to ensure that any palm oil imported into Australia (and eventually world-wide) must be RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) – produced in a way that aims to protect the last remaining habitat for wildlife and preserve livelihoods.
I'm in! What can I do to help?
Find out more about the Don’t Palm Us Off campaign here.
For more information, visit the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil website.