Finger Lickin’ Good News: KFC Pledges a Better Bucket

by Amy Moas

April 3, 2013

Rainforest near the Kebar mountains.

© Greenpeace / Daniel Beltrá

Just last week, we announced that U.S. forests are now better protected thanks to the Roadless Rule. This week, weve got some good news for Indonesias rainforests, and the endangered tigers living there.

Thanks to pressure from Greenpeace supporters around the globe, Yum! Brands, the largest restaurant company in the world and parent company of KFC, has released a new set of commitments which could make the paper and packaging it uses much more rainforest-friendly.

Pristine Rainforest in Indonesia

Last year Greenpeace showed that wood fiber from rainforest trees was ending up in KFCs famous chicken buckets and other paper packaging. Activists around the world spoke up, telling KFC and Yum! Brands executives that trashing tiger forests was not acceptable. It seems all those hours in tiger and orangutan costumes, doing reverse graffiti and yes, even dunking the Colonel in BBQ sauce, have made the company pay attention.

Today they officially released new policies that if they stick would prevent KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, and other Yum! Brands companies, from trashing rainforests for paper packaging. That means good news for tigers, and bad news for any paper companies, like Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), that are still destroying rainforests.

So, good progress from Yum! Brands on paper, but what about palm oil? For years Greenpeace activists have called out Yum! Brands for buying palm oil linked to rainforest destruction. The company says it is phasing out palm oil wherever feasible in its 39,000 restaurants for health reasons. But its not clear what, if any, environmental standards it has for the palm oil it is buying in the meantime. Turning a blind eye to the problems with palm oil — from pushing orangutans to extinction in Indonesia, to trashing rainforests and peoples rights in Africa — is not an option, especially when solutions to those problems are beginning to grow.

Its not just Yum! Brands that still has work to do. Other fast food restaurants, like Dominos, Wendy’s and Dairy Queen, dont seem to have any safeguards to ensure rainforest destructionisn’ton their menus. With your help, well push them to change that.

In the meantime, a big thank you to all the tiger fans, activists and KFC customers who helped convince the largest restaurant company in the world to start becoming part of the solution to deforestation. Stay tuned for news on how you can continue to help us #savetigers together.

Amy Moas

By Amy Moas

Amy Moas, Ph.D. is a senior forest campaigner for Greenpeace based in Las Vegas. She focuses on combating the drivers of deforestation around the world including palm oil, pulp and paper, and illegal logging.

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