Iceland becomes first supermarket to stop using palm oil

Tuesday 10th April 2018 | Jake

Following the introduction of the 5p plastic bag, and the intense pressure on supermarkets to cut their use of plastic packaging, the next big development is underway. Iceland will become the first major supermarket to stop using palm oil in its products, producing the controversial oil is a major contributor to deforestation.

Palm oil is currently used in over half of Iceland’s products, including biscuits and soap. However, Iceland managing director Richard Walker has now stated there is “no such thing” as sustainable palm oil, having been alerted to its problematic nature by the environmental campaigners Greenpeace.

Between 1990 and 2008 palm oil production accounted for 8% of the world’s deforestation, as large areas of forest are cleared for factories and cultivation purposes. According to Greenpeace ‘certified sustainable palm oil’ does not mean it has not been produced without deforestation, a revelation that has prompted Iceland to take action. Walker says the supermarket will absorb the increased cost of manufacturing products without the oil.

It is estimated that almost half of the products stocked across all major supermarkets in the UK contain palm oil. Despite this dependency, it is hoped more supermarkets will soon follow suit and curb their use. Iceland has already found alternatives to the oil for half of its products.