If you’ve read the ingredients in our toothpastes, you know that we use organic glycerin in all of our toothpaste flavors. Its purpose is to act as a natural emulsifier, helping to mix our oil and water-based ingredients.
Without glycerin, our ingredients would separate and you’d have less of a paste and more of an oily mess. So glycerin is kind of a big deal.
Our organic glycerin is derived from palm oil which obviously, comes from palm trees. Now, we know what you’re thinking because we thought about this, too. Unfortunately, the cultivation of palm trees isn’t always on the up and up. In some regions, palm oil plantations are built without consulting the local communities, resulting in the forcible displacement of people from their land. Palm oil cultivation can also cause deforestation and there have also been instances where workers’ right to fair payment and safe working conditions were violated.
So why did we decide to use palm-oil-derived glycerin? Well for one, using a different ingredient instead of glycerin wouldn’t really get the job done. Glycerin is the foundation of what makes our paste a paste. Secondly, using palm oil isn’t always a bad thing when harvested correctly and sustainably:
- Using other vegetable oils such as sunflower, soybean or rapeseed oil would actually mean that much larger amounts of land would need to be used. Palm trees produce 4-10 times more oil per unit of land cultivated than other crops which can result in serious environmental damage since it’s likely more forests would need to be converted into farmland
- Palm oil producing countries support millions of farmers and their families and plays an important role in reducing poverty in these regions. In Indonesia and Malaysia, a total of 4.5 million people earn their living from palm oil production and would not be able to support their families if the palm oil industry did not exist
Our decision to use palm oil doesn’t mean that we forgot our core values of quality, safety, and sustainability. When sourcing ingredients, we vowed to only work with suppliers that sustainably sourced their palm oil because for us, there simply wasn’t another option.
That’s where the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) comes in. RSPO has developed a set of criteria that is intended to minimize the negative environmental and social impacts that palm oil can have and we’re very proud to say that our palm oil is RSPO certified.
You can learn more about RSPO’s Principles and Criteria here but we believe that the most important certification rules are as follows:
- No primary forests or areas which contain significant concentrations of biodiversity (e.g. endangered species) or fragile ecosystems, or areas which are fundamental to meeting basic or traditional cultural needs of local communities (high conservation value areas), can be cleared
- Use of pesticides and fires must be significantly reduced
- Fair treatment of workers according to local and international labor rights standards
- Need to inform and consult with local communities before the development of new plantations on their land
- Palm oil producers can only claim that they use/sell sustainable palm oil if an independent auditor that has been approved by the RSPO certifies them
From our toothbrushes to our toothpastes, we go to great lengths to only work with suppliers that are just as conscious of their impact on the environment as we are.
Visit their website to learn more about the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil. https://www.rspo.org.
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