Do your cleaning products contain palm oil? The answer is… probably yes!
Palm oil is in everything. Your food, your beauty products, and it even sneaks into your cleaning products! The World Wildlife Fund estimates that about half of all packaged items at the supermarket contain palm oil. So what is palm oil- and why should you care?
What is palm oil?
The ‘mesocarp’ palm is a highly efficient source of vegetable oil. It uses the kernel or the fruit of palm to create a saturated fat. Palm oil became popular when trans fats were found to be unhealthy, and palm oil had similar qualities but was deemed healthier than trans fats.
Why is it so bad?
Tropical rainforests have been cleared to make room for palm oil plantations. This has destroyed the habitat of orangutans, tigers, rhinos, elephants, and other endangered species. There are some plantations that are environmentally responsible, however most are not.
The palm oil trade also hires workers who are abused, and child labour is used in Indonesia and Malaysia. So palm oil not only devastates the environment, but is socially negative too.
Palm oil also has a habit of hiding in ingredients lists. Other names for palm oil can include:
Vegetable fat, Vegetable oil, Palm Kernel oil, Palm Kernel, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmitate, Palmate, Palmolein, Elaeis Guineensis, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hyrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol.
Why do cleaning products have palm oil?
Bubbles. Under the name sodium lauryl sulfate, palm oil is used as an inexpensive foaming agent. It helps to bond oil and water, which means water can strip away grease and dirt from skin, clothes, or the surfaces you are cleaning. It’s very effective, cheap, and readily available.
So how can you make a difference?
Don’t buy products with sodium lauryl sulfate in them. Or, use products with the RSPO or Green Palm label. The RSPO label ensures the palm oil used is from certified and sustainable plantations that are environmentally and socially responsible. The Green Palm label helps growers transition to sustainable palm oil farming methods. However there is no real way to be 100% sure that the palm oil is sustainable due to corruption in the countries that produce it. So the safest way to avoid contributing to ecological and social problems is to avoid products that contain palm oil.
No palm oil in Dream Eco Products
Here at Dream Eco Products, none of our products contain palm oil or its derivatives. You can be assured that the environment and our effects on it are important to us and we work hard to ensure we are eco-positive.