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The Impacts of Palm Oil

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  • 04-02-2019
The Impacts of Palm Oil

Palm Oil and the Environment

Palm oil is extracted from the reddish pulp of the oil palms. Palm oil has a reddish natural color due to the high contents of beta-carotene. Palm oil is edible, and it is mainly used for cooking at home. There are other types of palm oil, such as palm kernel oil that is derived from the kernel of the fruit of palm trees. Palm oil is low in saturated fats, rich in carotenoids that give it the reddish colour. 

hand holding oil palm fruit

Other uses of palm oil include dietary supplement, personal care products, skin moisturiser and other household products. Despite of palm oil having many uses, many manufacturers are producing the oil under unfavourable conditions which endangers local animal and plant species. Although we collect all types of vegetable oil and cooking fats, Infinity Oils are against the ethics of unsustainable palm oil.

Impacts of Palm Oil Plantations

sumatran orangutan, endangered due to palm oil plantation

Deforestation

As the demand for palm oil rises, many palm oil companies are cutting down precious rainforests to create room for palm oil plantations. This leads to habitat loss for indigenous species such as Sumatran orangutans and Sumatran tigers. Deforestation is also responsible for the destruction of the local eco system.

The cutting down of trees also leads to the release of carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. The plantation of oil palm also wrecks havoc on the soil quality, rendering it useless for crops in the future.

Local Wildlife

Deforestation leads to the imbalance of the ecosystem and the cutting down of the vast hectares of rain forests leads to the loss of habitats for most of the animal species that depend on the rain forests for their survival. The orangutan is the most affected species as their numbers have dropped to less than 50,000 in the world as a result of deforestation for the palm plantations. 

Social Consequences

The global palm oil markets aim to eradicate poverty among many in the society that are involved with the farming of palm oil and its uses, but the increase in demand of palm oil has led to the scramble for the land right. Grabbing of land has led to significant conflicts among people in the community and loss of income. The impact of the social welfare of the population is damaged as a result of the palm oil.


Palm oil is a commodity that is precious, but it has adverse effects on the land and its inhabitants. Therefore, the farming and plantation of palm oil should be controlled and regulated to ensure that the ecosystem is at an optimum balance.

Infinity Oils distance ourselves from working with unsustainable palm oil.