Here at Heyland and Whittle we care about what we put into our products just as much as you do. Not only do we create soaps that smell fresh and inviting, but we ensure they are kind to skin too. Another very important factor we consider is our impact on the planet, which is why we use sustainable palm oil in all our Soap Bars.
What is palm oil?
Palm oil is a versatile vegetable oil that comes from trees grown in Africa and South East Asia. There are two types of palm oil, both of which come from oil palm trees, although one derives from the fruit and the other from the kernel.
Its properties include being semi-solid at room temperature; resistant to oxidation; odourless and colourless; and stable at high temperatures. All of these things make it a very useful ingredient in everything from foodstuffs to our soaps.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Justin Bland
Why does it need to be produced sustainably?
Palm oil is fairly ubiquitous, with the WWF suggesting it’s in close to 50 per cent of packaged goods we buy. While 44 countries in the world produce palm oil, more than 85 per cent of the global supply comes from Indonesia and Malaysia.
The cultivation of palm oil is a major contributor to deforestation in these areas, with much of the vegetation being destroyed among the most biodiverse forests on the planet. They are home to endangered species like orangutans, pygmy elephants and Sumatran rhinos, with the destruction of their habitat putting them under even more threat.
Should we use alternatives to palm oil?
The problems with swapping from palm oil to an alternative are myriad. It’s an efficient crop, so substitutes can take up much more land to produce a smaller yield and therefore shift deforestation issues elsewhere. With smallholder farmers and emerging economies depending on the revenue from palm oil to survive, boycotting it is not the answer.
How palm oil can be produced sustainably
Palm oil can be produced sustainably as long as growers and millers follow best practice guidelines; develop responsible new plantings; conserve natural resources and biodiversity; and comply with laws and regulations. This is monitored by the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which has a certification programme to show when palm oil has met its strict standards.
Sustainable palm oil and our soap
Whether you love lathering up with our Citrus Grove Soap Bar or protecting your hands after a day of planting with the Gardeners Soap Bar, enjoying the fresh hit from our Herbal Mint Soap Bar or the sweet scent of the Rose Soap Bar, you know you are doing your bit for the environment at the same time.
Using sustainable palm oil isn’t the only contribution we are making to the future of our planet. We now offer our customers the opportunity to help reduce packaging when they buy our products. Simply select “Wrapped in paper” when adding your soap to your online basket.