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Hopeful for Target’s leadership on toxic chemicals

When our coalition launched our Mind the Store campaign to work with retailers, we casually speculated who might take the lead on our safer chemicals challenge. Target popped up on the list, given the company’s dedication to their customers, their generous giving program, some of the steps they’ve take on toxic chemicals, and sustainable seafood initiatives.

That’s why we were surprised when Target hasn’t responded, at all, to our Mind the Store letter and over 55,000 emails from customers asking them to take serious steps to address toxic chemicals. As our request states, we’re hoping to work with major retailers like Target to create a corporate chemical policy on chemicals. At a bare minimum we asked the retailers to send an initial response, acknowledging they received our letter by June 1st, we didn’t even get an email.

In addition, the day our campaign launched, Shane from Orlando, Florida, one of the nation’s top green bloggers visited a Target store and asked the store manager to send a message to the corporate sustainability team that Target could be a real leader in this important endeavor.

More recently, a group of dozens of Great Lakes advocacy organizations sent the ten retailers another letter encouraging them to work with us on corporate chemical action plans, citing concerns around the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals in the Great Lakes.

So why are we still hopeful that Target may take the lead on our safer chemicals challenge? Because of some of the steps they’ve already taken on toxic chemicals:

  1. In 2007, Target agreed to eliminate PVC from their house brand of children’s lunchboxes, utensils and announced to reduce the amount of PVC used in all products over time. PVC, most commonly known as the “poison plastic” often contains lead and hormone-disrupting phthalates.
  2. In 2011, they agreed to eliminate cadmium from their children’s jewelry and accessories.

So our hope remains that folks at Target will soon respond to our request, but in the meantime we need you to share your concerns with them around toxic chemicals. Will you send Target an email now asking them to take our campaign seriously and create a robust action plan on the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals?

You can also send a tweet directly to Target: Hey @target, this toxic stuff is crazy – why won’t you call @saferchemicals back, maybe? #MindTheStore