Helping Chimpanzees and Other Great Apes Is As Easy as Scanning a Barcode
Palm oil is an ingredient in thousands of everyday products, from baked goods to shampoo, lipstick, ice cream, and much more. About half the packaged goods that consumers buy at the store every week contain palm oil. Because it is in such demand, carbon-rich tropical forests and peatlands are being cut down in Southeast Asia, and increasingly in Africa, South America and elsewhere.
As a result, palm oil is a big threat to great ape forests – and a major contributor to global warming. Another great ape, orangutans, are at grave risk of extinction, with palm oil and illegal activity having driven loss of 80% of their habitat over the past 20 years.
Some efforts are underway to produce more sustainable palm oil, but progress is slow and big companies vary in their commitments to sourcing sustainable palm in the future.
Take Action Today Using your Smart Phone
PalmSmart is a free app that lets you scan barcodes on all the products you purchase and instantly learn:
- if they contain palm oil; and
- the extent to which the manufacturer has committed to more sustainable palm oil in the future.
The app is essential in avoiding products with palm oil. This is because identifying palm oil by reading package ingredients is nearly impossible because of the 30+ alternative names by which it can be listed.
It’s Time to Keep Score
Greenpeace offers a downloadable Score Card, comparing major manufacturers like PepsiCo, Nestle, and others as to how committed they are to sourcing sustainable palm oil or reducing its use. The Score Card provides ready information on how they stack up.