Thank you for taking the time to contact us here at Earth Balance. It was a pleasure to talk to you this afternoon and we always appreciate hearing from consumers who care enough to reach out to us with their comments or questions. Here are the answers to your questions about palm fruit oil and recycling:
As palm oil is one of the critical elements to our proprietary blend of oils, we’re dedicated to being proactive in growing awareness around the issue.
While Earth Balance is only a small palm oil user (we use less than 0.05% of all palm oil), we’re taking a big stand against unsustainable palm oil. Here’s how…
First, we are firmly committed to sustainable sourcing, and we believe in the power of informed consumers to change the world for the better. We are educating our suppliers about ways to safeguard the rainforest through sustainable palm oil sourcing, and we’re educating our customers about how they can have a direct positive impact by exclusively purchasing responsibly sourced palm oil products.
Thirty percent of our palm oil comes from Brazil. Our Brazil-sourced palm oil is 100% organic and is used in all of our organic products (and because orangutans are not native to South America, the Brazilian palm industry does not adversely impact their wellbeing). The remaining 70% of our palm oil comes from responsible sources in peninsular Malaysia, which are all members of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the leading global organization developing and implementing global standards for sustainable palm oil production. We insist on continuing assurances from our suppliers that all palm fruit oil purchased for Earth Balance complies with the RSPO policies, and we are committed to terminating any suppliers that violate these policies.
In addition, we purchase GreenPalm Certificates, which work a lot like carbon credits. The money used to purchase these certificates helps improve the infrastructure and practices behind sustainable palm oil. Moreover, we are supporting the action-oriented, on-the ground conservation work of Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) in Indonesian Borneo. OFI is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, led by world-renown primatologist and conservationist Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas. OFI is committed to rescuing and rehabilitating orangutans that are adversely affected by the palm oil industry, and has been working for more than 40 years to conserve rainforest habitat and educate people throughout the world about the orangutans’ plight. Earth Balance is especially proud to be a financial supporter of OFI’s ongoing initiative to return 330 wild-born, ex-captive rehabilitated orangutans back to the wild, into biologically-rich, protected forest, where they rightfully belong.
For more information, please see our White Paper: Addressing the Social & Environmental Challenges with Palm Fruit Oil, posted on our website.
All of our buttery spreads in tubs are packaged in #5 plastic tubs. Although it is possible to recycle #5 plastic, as we discussed, many curbside recycling programs do not pick up #5 containers. You can request that your local recycling company pick up the #5 plastics. If that is not an option in your community, we recommend the following website: http://www.preserveproducts.com/recycling/index.html.
Our nut butters are packed in PETE #1 recyclable containers. Many communities will recycle #1 and #2 plastics. Your local township recycling center can provide more information on how it is handled in your community.
Also, two years ago we made a secondary packaging change. Rather than the standard corrugated cardboard packaging, we utilize a thin corrugated pad base, adhesive, and shrink film. The results are a smaller, lighter less energy intensive package for shipping. Independent study estimates that the packaging switch has resulted in 61% less material being used; 44% less green house gas emissions; 5% fewer truckloads and consumes 49% less energy with no change to the efficacy or safety of the product.
This is very informative! Just read an article about how the palm oil industry is hurting the orangutangs’ habitats, so I’m happy to read that they do not participate in it! Thanks for sharing like always!