Consumers are detoxing store shelves

Mind the Store Action at Kroger HQ: Can Toxic BPA (Facebook/Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families)

When consumers organize, companies change. While we are playing a lot of defense in the public sector, consumers and advocates are winning big in the private sector as a result of market campaigns.

Market campaigns leverage consumer power to win changes in corporate policies and practices. Clean Water Action is part of several national market campaigns, such as Mind the Store and Getting Ready for Baby, that share the common goal of protecting public health and the environment by getting toxic chemicals off store shelves.

Since the Mind the Store campaign’s start in 2013, four of the nation’s top 10 retailers have made significant commitments to get toxic chemicals out of their supply chain.

Minnesota-based Target adopted a chemical policy that includes bans on toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, phthalates, and perflorinated chemicals. Best Buy, headquartered in Richfield, also committed to enact a chemical policy by the end of the year. Prior to this campaign, not a single retailer had a comprehensive chemical policy in place.

These advances can continue as consumers challenge other leading retailers to respond to demands for safe products. At Costco’s recent shareholder meeting, consumers called on the company to protect shoppers’ safety from toxic chemicals. More than 35,000 consumer comments collected here in Minnesota and across the country were delivered.

While Costco has yet to act, other major retailers like Walmart and CVS are tackling toxic chemicals in their supply chains by adopting innovative policies. These new policies are a win not only for public health and the environment, but also for the sustainability of companies.


—Information provided by Clean Water Action.