Palm Oil – lesson learned
I never thought we would need to write a Palm Oil Policy, until I needed to find a better dishwasher tablet. We don’t feed our guests, we are not a B and B or Guest House, and the only food we supply are local products from island producers so why would we need one? Little realising that our cleaning products might have palm oil in them…
We have been using dishwasher tablets made by Ecozone (Ecozone Classic) in the cottages for years and also in our own home. Over the autumn I realised that our dishwasher wasn’t cleaning glasses as well as it used to. Was the machine just about to conk out? Before panicking about its impending demise Somerset suggested we try a different tablet and see if it worked better.
I bought some Ecover tablets and they worked okay. I tried another brand, Bio-D, and – great excitement – our glasses really shone! What a relief, the machine was okay after all, and I made a note to buy these in future….
We buy our cleaning products from Greencity, a wonderful ethical, whole food co-operative in Glasgow. They have a Palm Oil Free policy. I searched but I couldn’t find BioD dishwasher tablets on their website. I contacted them to ask about this. They responded that due to the palm oil used in their manufacture Greencity didn’t stock them. I was shocked! We use a lot of BioD products supplied by Greencity – but the difference is the individual products Greencity supply and we use do not contain Palm Oil.
I had assumed the Bio-D tablets would be palm oil free but I hadn’t checked with Bio-D themselves. I emailed Bio-D to find out more. They wrote back quickly and answered all my questions. They do use sustainable Palm Oil as it is a natural ingredient and all their products only contain natural ingredients. I was sent a statement which states that they only use sustainable Palm Oil accredited by the RSPO accreditation. The RSPO work with local government and communities to “protect production of the oil, the workers and the land”. Palm Oil’s high yields from less land was a ‘benefit’ given that “38% of the worlds edible oil is grown on 5% of land dedicated to oilseed crops globally”.
It is undoubtedly a complex issue. But I decided to follow Greencity’s lead and not buy it again.
What to use instead?
To cut a long and dry story short… there is no easy answer. A lot of companies do use Sustainable Palm Oil in their cleaning products.
I eventually found through the Ethical Superstore that the Ecozone Brilliance All in One tablets clean much better – my glasses shine again – and don’t have Palm Oil in them. Greencity stock them so we will be using them in future! Ethical Superstore have
What I learned though was that I shouldn’t take the brand as an indication of what I consider to be good practice. And that there is always research to do done. Palm Oil – lesson learned indeed!
Ethical Superstore and Ethical Consumer are two useful websites to help guide these decisions.
Another in the series perhaps?! https://treshnish.co.uk/plastic-free-toilet-paper/