Are the products you buy connected to the haze?

Are the products you buy connected to the haze?

Organisation: The Straits Times (Singapore)

Publication Date: 04/09/2016


Size of team/newsroom:large


The haze in Singapore reached very unhealthy levels for the better part of a month over September and October 2015. The last time it reached these levels was in June 2013, however, the haze crisis lasted for longer than it did in 2013 spurring the government and NGO's to investigate the cause and who was to blame. Supermarkets in Singapore including NTUC FairPrice and Sheng Siong pulled the plug on the products of haze-linked firms. We looked at how some of these companies are connected to the fires in Indonesia and the products they sell. There are four elements that make up this page: a map, a table of products, a video and an infographic. [Map] Where the hot spots are and who owns the land? Many of the haze-causing fires and hot spots in Indonesia are on land belonging to companies with logging concessions from the government. Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a unit of Indonesia’s Sinar Mas group, is also under immense pressure from governments and NGOs as it has dozens of supplier concessions in Sumatra. These concessions have recorded the highest number of hot spots of any firm. We included a timeline on this map to show the user how the hot spots have developed since January 2015. [Visual Table] All 19 APP-related products removed from FairPrice’s shelves This is the complete list of all 19 products that were withdrawn from FairPrice shelves on Oct 7. These products were sourced from Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) through a local importer, Universal Sovereign. Only two of FairPrice’s 14 housebrand paper products were affected. These 19 products may still be available at Cold Storage, 7-Eleven, Giant and other outlets run by Dairy Farm group, which has stopped replenishing stock but will continue to sell the remaining items. [Video] Why it matters? Boycotting haze-causing firms Ernest Luis, ST Digital News Editor speaks with Jessica Lim, ST’s consumer correspondent for a quick overview of NTUC FairPrice’s decision to pull 19 APP-related products from their shelves and what this means for consumers in the long run. [Infographic] How Indonesia’s forest is turned into your household paper products Wood from a tree in an Indonesian forest goes through 6 steps before it ends up as tissue paper in your home. ST Arts originally published this in print. We took the graphic, converted it into SVG and in doing so, explained the entire process from pulp to paper.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

The company at the heart of this graphic paid attention when they saw this graphic. It had been previously reported in The Straits Times as a long feature piece in print but this graphic proved the power of representing the same data visually. We combined three separate datasets to great effect. APP wrote a formal letter of complaint to The Straits Times to pull the graphic. They later conceded to rewording the introductory text as all the data used is publicly available and reported previously without complaint. The firm has conceded they are partly responsible for the toxic haze which enveloped Singapore for the better part of a month in September last year, however, they are not the only ones at fault in this complicated story.

Technologies used for this project:

This is a custom built website and is fully responsive using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It also uses d3.js for added interactivity. The map was created using CartoDB.
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