Blackpool Zoo taking a lead in tackling palm oil crisis

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Organisations from across the Fylde coast gathered at Blackpool Zoo to help the town become one of the first sustainable palm oil communities in the world.

Representatives from Blackpool Council, Blackpool Football Club, Inspired PLC, the Strathdon Hotel and Flakefleet Primary School joined 13 other businesses to find out how they can make a difference to critically endangered species in places such as Borneo, Sumatra, the Philippines, Nigeria and South America.

The campaign to tackle the ever-growing palm oil crisis has been spearheaded by Blackpool Zoo’s Education, Conservation and Research team.

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So far, Chester is the only city in the world to have achieved Palm Oil Sustainable Community status following the hugely successful project launched by Chester Zoo in 2017.

The launch event at Blackpool ZooThe launch event at Blackpool Zoo
The launch event at Blackpool Zoo

Huge local support saw businesses, organisations and schools sign up at the special event, which means Blackpool is now in the running to become the second community to demonstrate such commendable commitment to animal conservation.

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Palm oil found washed up on Bispham shore

Unsustainable palm oil production has seen vast areas of rainforests cleared to make way for palm oil trees destroying the homes of animals including orangutans, elephants, tigers and birds.

Palm oil itself is dangerous to all animals and has caused alerts for pet owners when washed up on Fylde shores.

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Joe Neath, Blackpool Zoo’s Sustainability Officer, said: “The mammoth task to get businesses and organisations to commit to using products containing sustainable palm oil is vitally important to ensure the long-term survival of many iconic species.

“After months of preparation we were absolutely thrilled to see so many people attend our launch and sign up to start their sustainable palm oil journey with us.”

Coun Jane Hugo, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said at the meeting: “Blackpool Zoo is such an important part of our town, and we’re really proud that they are taking this important step to create a sustainable palm oil community in Blackpool.

“The campaign has put a spotlight on how common use of unsustainable palm oil is and how damaging it is to the environment.”

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Blackpool hoteliers, Veronica and Ian Allsopp, of the Strathdon Hotel in South Shore, fully support the campaign.

Veronica said: “Encouraging our suppliers to be more environmentally conscious is worth doing for the sake of the orangutans and other animals.”

More details and how to get involved here.