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Paignton Zoo is starting the New Year with a resolution for wildlife. The charity is encouraging people to reject products containing palm oil in order to help save orang utans in South East Asia.

Spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “In the South West we know palm oil as this lumpy, waxy substance that washes up on beaches and can kill dogs. But palm oil is bad in another way – its production in vast plantations across South East Asia is destroying the forest where orang utans, tigers and other species live.

“We are encouraging people to pledge to change one item they regularly buy on a shopping trip. You get sustainable palm oil but even that is not guaranteed to be wildlife-friendly. A pledge against palm oil is a pledge for wildlife.

“Thanks to recent legislation, consumers can now tell when palm oil is in their food. But the rules don’t cover other items, like cosmetics, and do not mean manufacturers have to say whether the palm oil is produced sustainably or not. It’s in things like shampoo, pizzas and biscuits – we should all check the packaging and try to buy products that don’t have palm oil in them.”

Paignton Zoo and sister charity Living Coasts both stock many palm oil-free items in their shops and restaurants.

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