Rite Aid has been working closely with supplier partners to eliminate eight “high-priority” chemicals from formulated private brand items since 2016. These chemicals include triclosan, formaldehyde, toluene, butylparaben, propylparaben, dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate and nonylphenol ethoxylates. As a result, the vast majority of the company's private brand portfolio currently complies with these standards and Rite Aid remains on track to fully eliminate these chemicals from private brand items by 2020.
Rite Aid has also expanded its Restricted Substances List (RSL) to go beyond these eight high-priority chemicals as well as existing U.S. regulatory requirements. The expanded RSL brings additional parabens, phthalates, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) and formaldehyde donors within the scope of Rite Aid's efforts to reduce the use of chemicals of concern, bringing the total number of restricted chemicals from eight to 69. Rite Aid's updated RSL, as well as the complete policy, can be found at www.riteaid.com/corporate/chemical-policy.
"As a company, we remain committed to working closely with our supplier partners to provide our customers with the effective products they need while avoiding the use of chemicals of concern," said William Renz, Rite Aid senior vice president of category management. "Ensuring the safety of the products we sell has always been a top priority at Rite Aid, and we're pleased to be implementing a newly developed policy that will further support our efforts."
To that end, Rite Aid will begin implementing UL's WERCsmart and PURview platforms in order to provide more robust screening, tracking, monitoring and reporting capabilities. With an expanded RSL and new technology, the company is also extending the scope of its chemical management program to include formulated items made by national brands.
"At Rite Aid, our mission is to improve the health and wellness of the communities we serve, and this commitment extends to making sure that we're meeting our customers' expectations when it comes to the ingredients found in the items we sell," said Daniel Miller, Rite Aid senior vice president of pharmacy and regulatory affairs. "By establishing our Chemical Policy and updated Restricted Substances List, we are expanding and formalizing our efforts to continue meeting the product safety expectations of our customers."
As part of the company's efforts, Rite Aid has been engaging with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and its Mind the Store Campaign. The organization leads a coalition of more than 450 organizations and businesses that encourages retailers to replace chemicals of concern with safer alternatives.
"We applaud Rite Aid for restricting these harmful chemicals and developing a comprehensive safer chemicals policy," said Mike Schade, Mind the Store Campaign Director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. "This will go a long way in meeting the rising consumer demand for safer and healthier products. Retailers like Rite Aid can play an important role in driving harmful chemicals out of commerce and promoting safer alternatives."