Why Palm Oil Is So Bad For You And For The Enviroment - Ecobuy

Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil that’s used in everything from hair conditioner to cookies. It sounds innocent enough, but palm oil plantations are causing mass deforestation which is endangering species, such as the beautiful Borneo orangutan.

Oil palm trees are native to Africa and were brought to south east Asia around 100 years ago. Now, Indonesia and Malaysia make up over 85% of the global supply of palm oil.

Palm oil trees are best suited to rainforest conditions, resulting in the clearing of wildly beautiful rainforests to make way for palm oil plantations which make up a staggering 27 million hectares of land.

Replacing these once rich jungle ecosystems with monocultures – or green desserts, as the palm oil plantation are often known – means the native plants and animals cannot thrive and the likes of orangutans, rhinos and tigers are dying out.

It’s a double edged sword as the burning of forests also pollutes the environment, making deforestation a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. This is also having a devastating impact on local indigenous communities.

The majority of us would never know we were eating or slathering the world’s most widely produced oil on our skin. In fact, almost 50 percent of packed items in our supermarkets contain palm oil. But who has the time to research every item they come into contact with?

Some brands even use a different name, such as vegetable oil – which it is – to avoid links to palm oil.

You can find it on ingredient labels under the following names:

Vegetable oil

Vegetable fat


Palm kernel

Palm kernel oil


Stearic acid


Palmitic acid

Elaeis Guineensis

Palm stearine

Sodium lauryl sulfate

Sodium lauryl lactylate

Palmitoyl oxostearamide

Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3

Sodium laureth sulfate

Sodium kernelate

Etyl palmitate

Sodium palm kernelate

Palm glycerides


Octyl palmitate

Palmityl alcohol

For the last couple of decades, non government organisations have been putting pressure on some of the biggest companies to sign global commitments to reduce their impact, yet palm oil production continues to be a major contributor to our global climate crisis.

So, what can we do about this?

1) LOBBY FOR CHANGE: put pressure on companies that continue to turn a blind eye by petitioning for change.

2) CHOOSE CAREFULLY: it may not be possible to completely avoid the big organisations (palm oil is used in pizza dough!), so look closely at labels and choose palm oil-free.

3) BUY SUSTAINABLY: shop with brands that refuse to sell or use ‘dirty’ palm oil in their products. Or look for labels that use sustainability sourced palm oil.

Ecobuy is proudly committed to sourcing products that have a minimal impact on our planet’s ecosystems.

We’re excited to introduce two new products that support our ethos. Say hello to Viva la Body, Australia’s first true zero waste sustainable beauty brand.

Viva La Body’s products are ethically manufacturedveganpalm oil freecruelty free and housed in compostable packaging (plant seedlings in them!). Viva La Body’s ingredients have been stringently examined and independently certified by Orangutan Alliance and Choose Cruelty FreeTotally plastic free – true Zero Waste.

We’ve tried, tested and fallen in love with their Solid Conditioner Rescue Bar, which is loaded with nutrients to help treat frizzy hair.

Plus, Viva la Body’s Natural Deodorant in Lavender Fresh. Made from all natural magnesium that neutralises odour and is naturally scented with clean and light lavender and gentle citrus tones.

Click here to learn more about them and their amazing products.

We’d love to know what you think!  What are your thoughts on palm oil?

Please comment below.