The Emotive Messages
Greenpeace advertising campaigns certainly tug at the heart strings, habitat destruction is very very emotive topic.
However, as per usual, when Greenpeace jump on a subject, there is hardly any useful information. They would see you writing strongly worded letters in Unilever and the likes, which we all know does not do a lot of good.
The way to win here of course is DO NOT BUY SOAP AND SHAMPOO WITH PALM OIL IN THEM. So if it says Palm Oil on the label, then do not buy it. . . . . . . read on for other complications.
List of Chemicals with Palm Oil
There are a lot of indirect soap and shampoo ingredients that can MADE FROM PALM OIL, and as such are not as easy to spot. I have included a list below which is sourced from official EU documentation, and as such should be a trusted source.
|Fatty acid||Palm kernel oil|
|Methyl esters||Palm oil|
|Fatty alcohols||Blend of palm oil and palm kernel oil*|
|Tertiary fatty amines||Palm kernel oil, reflecting their primary production from Fatty Alcohol C12- C14|
|Primary amines||Shall be considered in line with Fatty Acids and Methyl esters|
|Glycerine||Palm based glycerides (also available as non-palm based material)|
|Cocoamidopropyl betaine (fatty acid derivative)||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Sodium laureth sulfate||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Sodium laureth-1 sulfate
Sodium laureth-2 sulfate
Sodium laureth-3 sulfate
|Palm Kernel Oil|
|Sodium stearate||Palm oil|
|Sodium palm kernelate||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Laureth-7||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Steareth-2||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Cocamide MEA (fatty acid derived||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Cocamide DEA (fatty acid derived||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Cetyltrimethylammonium chloride||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Isopropylmyristate||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Caprylic/capric triglyceride||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Fatty Isethionates (SCI)||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Alkylpolyglycoside (APG)||Palm Kernel Oil|
|Laurylamine oxide||Palm Kernel Oil|
Labels such as RSPO and the EU Ecolabel are not really helpful. RSPO regularly takes flack for not providing an adequate solution, and rain forest destruction continues under its watch.
The EU Ecolabel does consider palm oil in it assessment of new products but, it relies on RSPO principals which are flawed.
If you buy soaps and shampoos which advertise having other oils in them such as:
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Hemp Seed Oil
- Shea Butter
These will likely have less or no palm oil in them, so are a good place to start. Just remember what ever you buy, it comes from a plant or tree somewhere, so you will always have an impact when you shop.
Also do not rule out animal based soaps including Tallow based compounds. If you can get past the yuck factor, even these may be a better choice.