Since 2002, approximately 100,000 Bornean orangutans have been lost due to deforestation in order to grow and harvest palm oil, destined for household and other products including foods, shampoos and cosmetics.
Palm oil can be found in half of all packaged products in supermarkets as well as those in catering supplies. The EU directive on food labelling enforces the clear identification of palm oil in food yet there is no requirement for labelling in soap, shampoo and other cosmetics.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is also struggling to ensure registered companies trade only in oil that has not come from deforestation. This makes managing the use of palm oil in the supply chain extremely difficult. Enforcing palm-oil free products should be the top priority. Only where absolute assurance regarding the sustainable sourcing of palm oil is possible should it be considered.