EDITED AND UNEDITED VIDEO OF ANIMATRONIC ORANGUTAN AVAILABLE, TOGETHER WITH RUSHES OF ORANGUTANS IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT, RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION, PALM OIL PRODUCTION AND AN INTERVIEW WITH ICELAND’S MD AVAILABLE FREE AND WITHOUT RESTRICTION

Commuters and shoppers have been stunned as they witnessed what appeared to be an orangutan on the loose in London, thanking them for their support for a campaign to save the species.

The displaced ape was part of Iceland’s “No To Palm Oil” campaign – highlighting how thousands of orangutans are dying every year because of the destruction of their environment.

The campaign has received mass public support after the supermarket chain’s Christmas advert was banned for being too political. The film has had more than 30 million views on social media, with it gaining the support of numerous high-profile figures including James Corden and Paloma Faith.

A Change.org petition calling for the film to be shown on TV has already received the backing of more than 945,000 people and counting. (www.change.org/p/release-iceland-s-banned-christmas-advert-on-tv-nopalmoilchristmas)

A team of leading special effects artists spent months designing and building the ultra-realistic animatronic replica orangutan, which is controlled both remotely and via a specialist puppeteer who has spent years studying the movements of the species to fine-tune their skills.

The natural habitats of the critically endangered orangutans are being torn apart at an alarming rate in Indonesia and Malaysia – both of which are home to the species – to make way for palm oil plantations, leaving the magnificent animals unable to survive.

It has been estimated that around 6,000 orangutans are wiped out each year with 80% of their natural habitat disappearing in the space of two decades.

  • A rainforest area the size of 144 football pitches is cleared every hour to make way for palm oil production [1]
  • Palm oil production contributes to the death of 25 orangutans every day [2]
  • Europe’s’ use of palm oil is the equivalent to 100,556 baths full or 3.2 Olympic sized swimming pools [3]

But Iceland is pioneering the response to this needless destruction of the majestic apes. This festive season, Iceland, the UK’s leading frozen food specialist, is giving customers an opportunity to enjoy Christmas without palm oil, with a special Christmas food range.

New research commissioned by the retailer reveals that deforestation and the use of palm oil are among the top three environmental concerns of consumers, alongside food waste and single-use plastics. Despite their concerns, the study of 1,500 British adults highlighted that over half (56%) weren’t aware of the devastating effects palm oil production has on the rainforest and the resulting threat to the survival of orangutan populations.[4]

Iceland made the decision to demonstrate to the food and retail industries that it is possible to reduce the demand for palm oil by seeking alternative ingredient solutions.

Growing demand for palm oil for use in food products, cosmetics and biodiesel is devastating tropical rainforests across South East Asia. In Indonesia and Malaysia, where expanding palm oil and wood pulp plantations are the biggest driver of deforestation[5], the orangutan is being threatened with extinction.

Iceland’s Orangutan will be touring Iceland regional stores throughout November

[1] https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/faqs-palm-oil-answered/

[2] https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/rang-tan-video?source=GA&subsource=FOIDPOPEGA01LK&utm_source=gpeace&utm_medium=GA&utm_campaign=FOIDPOPEGA01LK&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9q6YjsOw3gIVRuaaCh1UbgD4EAAYASAAEgJ8ovD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

[3] https://www.statista.com/statistics/613471/palm-oil-production-volume-worldwide/

[4] A survey of 1,500 British adults was commissioned by Iceland in November 2018

[5] http://www.wri.org/blog/2017/07/drivers-deforestation-indonesia-inside-and-outside-concessions-areas