Environmental non-profit organisation, People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM Haze) in its latest campaign, #GoHazeFree writes that many eateries in Singapore and the region are still using unsustainably produced palm oil, which may contribute to future haze, two years after the worst haze on record. In light of this, PM Haze is launching its campaign with the aim to raise public awareness of the role of palm oil production in the haze and encourage eateries to switch to certified sustainable palm oil.
PM Haze notes that a major cause of the haze is the mass clearing of peatland by burning in order to make space for palm oil plantations. To stop haze, one of the first steps businesses can take is to switch to sustainably produced haze-free palm oil.
However, many eatery owners are noted to be unaware that the cooking oil they use causes the haze. Therefore, the #GoHazeFree campaign aims to:
Raise awareness among the public and eatery owners about haze-free palm oil
Get members of the public to participate in reaching out to eateries about haze-free cooking oil
Get eateries that use palm oil to switch to haze-free cooking oil
“Not only will switching to certified haze-free palm oil help protect our clean air and appeal to socially conscious diners, the cost is manageable,” says Ms Zhang Wen, Executive Director of PM Haze.
“According to our research, the difference in price between unsustainable and haze-free palm oil is about 10%, while cooking oil typically makes up a small percentage of a restaurant’s operating costs.” Notable businesses that have made the switch include IKEA Singapore and the Singapore Zoo, which have been using haze-free cooking oil since 2016 due to their strong commitment to sustainability.
The #GoHazeFree campaign will be launched with a mass eatery outreach in the Bugis area beginning on 19 August at 2pm at the National Library Level 1 plaza.
Prior to the launch of this campaign, PM Haze volunteers have visited about 60 eateries in Little India, Bukit Pasoh, Katong and Fortune Centre since May to speak with eatery management and staff about switching to haze-free cooking oil.