ecostore New Zealand Blog
Wal-Mart announced recently that it requires suppliers to phase out hazardous chemicals from the household cleaners, cosmetics and personal care products sold at its stores. They have prioritised a list of 10 chemical ingredients for ‘continuous reduction, restriction and elimination’ and will have protocols in place to monitor and carry out regular reviews of ingredients.
Their intention goes above and beyond regulatory compliance to meet the concerns of their customers and the environment, joining a much-needed industry shift away from potentially toxic chemicals in consumer products. Procter & Gamble has also recently announced plans to eliminate phthalates and the antibacterial ingredient triclosan. In 2012, Johnson & Johnson pledged to remove those two chemicals, along with formaldehyde and parabens, from its personal care products worldwide.
Many people assume that the products sold in our supermarkets have been tested for safety, but as the Walmart announcement shows, this is far from the case. Because of their sheer size and their buying power Walmart’s decision to phase out 10 nasty chemicals from products sold in their stores will have a huge effect not only within the US but also in the rest of the world. This is an example of the private sector being ahead of the government by being proactive about chemical safety for consumers – Malcolm Rands.
Wal-Mart has not yet disclosed the names of the 10 chemicals because they want to work collaboratively with their suppliers so it may still be some time before we see big changes but as one of the biggest retailers on Earth, it’s quite likely that Wal-Mart’s new policy will help ban these same chemicals everywhere as suppliers reformulate their products to meet the directive of their biggest customer.