ConnPIRG - Connecticut Public Interest Research Group

09/28/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/28/2017 13:14

Statement on Walmart’s Decision to Strengthen Chemical Footprint Policy

Statement from ConnPIRG Toxics Advocate Dev Gowda

'ConnPIRG applauds retail giant Walmart for updating its sustainability policy to restrict toxic chemicals in 90,000 products including cosmetics and skincare items, infant products, and household cleaners.

'Walmart aims to reduce its consumables chemical footprint for Walmart and Sam's Clubs U.S. stores by 10 percent by 2022, becoming the first U.S. retailer to set a time bound reduction goal. This means that the company plans to remove 55 million pounds of harmful chemicals out of products. In addition to its new chemical footprint reduction goal, Walmart will also ask suppliers to verify the purity of ingredients where contaminants of concern may exist.

'The updated policy includes new goals for Walmart to restrict over 2,700 harmful chemicals in household products by 2022, increase transparency of ingredients globally, and encourage suppliers to certify their products to credible third-party standards such as EWG (Environmental Working Group) Verified and EPA Safer Choice.

'Walmart expects suppliers to provide full ingredient disclosure of priority chemicals both online, which it had already pledged, but now also on product packages, starting in 2018.

'While we applaud Walmart for taking these important steps, we urge the company to completely eliminate toxic chemicals from products sold in its stores.

'ConnPIRG has been working with Safer Chemicals Healthy Families' Mind the Store coalition to get retailers to eliminate toxic chemicals. This year, Best Buy, Costco, CVS, and Target have all announced new initiatives to address harmful chemicals in products.

'Manufacturers have also been following consumer demands for increased chemical transparency. This year, Unilever USA and Procter & Gamble announced that they will disclose fragrance ingredients in their products. Many fragrance chemicals have been linked to negative health effects like cancer.'