The Retail Leadership Council (RLC) of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) issued a new statement developed by major retailers calling on chemical companies and suppliers to develop safer alternatives for flame retardants, plasticizers, water and stain repellents, and other chemicals in products sold at retail. It identifies the need to develop safer alternatives to dangerous chemicals in food packaging, electronics, personal care products, building materials and other product categories. It says, “the RLC has now collectively identified a set of chemical and application priorities for innovation in safer alternatives.” It also identifies best practices for ingredient disclosure and transparency.
The Retail Leadership Council is made up of ten major retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, CVS Health, The Home Depot, Kingfisher PLC, Lowe’s, Staples, Target and Walmart.
In response, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families’ Mind the Store Campaign Director Mike Schade issued the following statement:
“We commend these retailers for identifying product categories and chemical functions that are priorities for innovative actions. The retailers’ voices add to growing momentum to phase out classes of toxic chemicals, such as PFAS, flame retardants, and phthalates. Brands and chemical manufacturers across global supply chains should pay close attention to this new list and then develop and transition to safer alternatives. These chemicals are contaminating our bodies and homes and may cause serious health problems.
This new statement must be backed up by concrete measurable actions by retailers. For many of these chemicals and product categories, safer cost-effective alternatives are already available in the marketplace. Retailers should set clear public goals with aggressive timelines to reduce, eliminate, and replace these dangerous chemicals with safer alternatives. The health of our families, communities, and workers depends on it.”
This new announcement comes at a time when retailers are increasingly adopting safer chemicals policies to reduce and eliminate harmful chemicals. The annual “Who’s Minding the Store?” retailer report card benchmarks retailers on their safer chemical policies and implementation programs.