Iceland is continuing to sell up to 28 products containing palm oil in stores, despite pledging in 2018 to stop doing so in response to the devastating effect that its use in large quantities has over the environment.
All new stock coming into stores made after 31st December 2018 will be marked with a ‘No Palm Oil’ flash. However, the products that are still in store that have not run out of stock will still be sold as they cannot be donated to food banks or FairShare. Since most of these products fall into frozen food and dessert categories, they have a longer shelf life and will take longer to run out.
Joining the response to the news, Professor Will Pope, HonFSE CEnv and the Chair of Society for the Environment, said: “It’s so easy to say ‘oh I can’t do anything about it’ and we must not say that. It’s absolutely all our responsibility to do what we can about it.”
Palm oil in itself is not a harmful ingredient but the use of it in large quantities can harm the environment. It contributes to deforestation, biodiversity loss, and land and water pollution. 85% of palm oil production alone comes from Indonesia and Malaysia, two rainforest rich countries that also have the highest percentages of biodiversity.