Walmart announced today that it will phase out some 10 chemicals from products and disclose the chemicals in many product categories.
The company will start its initiative in 2015 and apply it to cleaners, personal care products, cosmetics and baby care, according to a press release issued by national health coalition Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
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Safer Chemicals has pushed big retailers to stop using chemicals from their Hazardous Hundred+ list. It sent out this list during its Mind the Store campaign, launched in April.
Walmart did not discuss which chemicals it planned to take out of its products, but the retail giant did confirm that the chemicals were from the Hazardous Hundred+ list. It will use safer alternatives in their place.
The move is part of a larger trend to eliminate toxic chemicals from retail products. Just last week, Procter & Gamble pledged to stop using phthalates and triclosan in its products as consumers become more aware of potentially toxic agents.
Andy Igrejas, executive director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, said in a statement that though Walmart’s announcement is only the beginning to solving a larger problem, the move is a major step in the right direction.
“Walmart’s announcement today appears to be a meaningful down payment on an enhanced chemical policy,” he said. “We urge other retailers to both learn from and improve on it.”
He also stated that Walmart’s position as the world’s largest retailer means it can have a ripple effect through the retail world. Igrejas said he hopes Walmart will put the spotlight on the EPA’s ecolabel Design for the Environment and popularize its products.