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Walmart takes the lead on Mind the Store challenge

Walmart has officially taken the lead on our Mind the Store challenge. With your help, we’ve asked the nation’s biggest retailers to create an action plan on the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals in consumer products. 

Today Walmart announced that it will take a serious first step to Mind the Store.

On a recent call with Walmart’s Sustainability team, they told us they were taking your calls and emails seriously, and were carefully assessing the Hazardous 100+ list.

Thanks to the hard work of our partners at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Clean Production Action, who have worked with Walmart on this important first step. More details about Walmart’s chemical action plan can be viewed online here.

Here’s a snapshot of Walmart’s big news:

  • By January 2015 all manufacturers who sell cleaning products, cosmetics, baby and personal care products will have to disclose the ingredients used in their products online. This is a major victory for consumers who, for the first time, will have access to which chemicals are used in certain products.
  • Walmart prioritized around 10 toxic chemicals (to be announced later) in which they will seek to reduce and eliminate from certain product lines. When we spoke to Walmart’s Sustainability team, they told us that the chemicals they chose were on the Hazardous 100+ list. These chemicals will be phased out of the following product sectors: cleaning products, baby products, personal care products and cosmetics.
  • Walmart will work with their suppliers to move towards safer alternatives. This is an important step, since many times as one toxic chemical is phased out and equally toxic chemical will be used as a replacement. Their policy seeks guidance from our friends at the Business NGO Workgroup.
  • Walmart brand cleaners will no longer contain toxic chemicals outlined by the EPA’s Design for the Environment program. Another major announcement, the DfE program has a robust list of chemicals that can’t be used, indicating seriousness from Walmart to increase the safety of their cleaners.
  • Priority chemicals as a first step. We know there are more than 10 toxic chemicals used in consumer products (see the Hazardous 100+), and hope that Walmart and other retailers work to expand the list of toxic chemicals they are addressing. We’re encouraged to see Walmart classify this as a “first step.”

This kind of progress doesn’t happen on it’s own. For years many of our coalition partners have been working hard to educate the public on toxic chemicals used in cleaning products, cosmetics, baby products and the like. When you take action with campaigns like Mind the Store, you are sending a signal that people want and demand safer products.

Collectively we’re shifting the consumer landscape, we’re making progress.

As the number one retailer, Walmart has incredible market power and has taken an important first step. We look forward to working with Walmart and the other nine leading retailers to create similar action plans on the Hazardous 100+ list of toxic chemicals.

Join us and share this good news with your friends.

Tell the other nine retailers it’s time they get serious about Minding the Store.