Aug 7, 2009
Orangutan habitats are being destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations, leaving an estimated 5,000 orangutans dead each year. WSPA and LUSH Cosmetics have partnered to help protect them.
Orangutans are currently under severe threat in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, the only places on earth where these animals still roam free. In the last 10 years, 90% of the rainforest in Borneo and Sumatra have been destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations, and orangutans are now one of the ten most threatened species in the world. There are only 35,000 orangutans left in Borneo and a mere 7,000 remain in Sumatra. At the current rate of loss, it is possible that they will be extinct in ten years.
Palm oil is widely used in the production of cosmetics, food and petroleum products, and rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia - where 83% of the world’s palm oil is produced - are being cleared to supply the growing global demand for it. These rainforests are not only home to orangutans, but also to many diverse species of plants and animals. The destruction of these rainforests is threatening the collapse of an entire ecosystem.
For the past three years, WSPA has provided funding and resources to Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) to rescue, provide sanctuary, rehabilitate and release orangutans that have been displaced, injured, or orphaned by palm oil deforestation in Borneo. BOS’s Nyaru Menteng sanctuary cares for up to 600 orangutans who live at the sanctuary for as many as eight years before they are ready to be released back into the wild.
LUSH Cosmetics believes that there are no sustainable sources of palm oil, and is the first cosmetics company to commit to eliminating palm oil in their products. For the past three years, they worked to develop a soap base that does not contain palm oil, and now all LUSH soaps are made with this palm oil-free base. Small amounts of palm oil still exist in some LUSH products but they are working on new ‘recipes’ to remove the oil altogether.
LUSH has partnered with WSPA to protect the endangered orangutans of Borneo through the sale of a hand and body cream called the LUSH “Charity Pot.” The WSPA-branded Charity Pot, in North American stores until early 2010, will help provide food and care for orangutans that have been rescued and are undergoing rehabilitation at the Nyaru Menteng sanctuary in Borneo.
As a special gift to WSPA supporters, LUSH is offering a 15% discount on their products including the newly formulated soaps until August 31, 2009. Download the coupon here (PDF Document) >>
Read more about WSPA’s work with BOS >>
Images credited to LUSH Cosmetics