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Iceland Supermarket Announces Ban On Palm Oil In All Store-Brand Items

By Aimee Lutkin

One of the U.K.'s biggest supermarket chains, Iceland Foods, announced the end of palm oil in any of their store-brand products. The BBC reports that the chain was brought around by consistent campaigning from Greenpeace organizers, who alerted the company to the devastating effects of palm oil production in South East Asia. 

The process has been linked to terrible air pollution, deforestation, and the destruction of habitats for wild animals, like orangutans. According to The Guardian, Bornean orangutan numbers declined in half between 1999 and 2015. For perspective, this means there are now between 70,000 and 100,000 remaining. Indonesia has also become the fourth largest greenhouse gas emissions contributor in the wold, a problem largely associated with the deforestation necessary to create palm oil acres.

Developers have also displaced entire communities by taking over their land, allegedly without consultation or reparations. Though they looked for a solution, Iceland's managing director Richard Walker said the possibility of a "sustainable" palm oil just doesn't exist.

"Certified sustainable palm oil does not currently limit deforestation and it does not currently limit the growth of palm oil plantations," he said. "So until such a time as there is genuinely sustainable palm oil that contains zero deforestation, we are saying no to palm oil."