In 2009, Wal-Mart began demanding that suppliers provide greener products, which meant phasing out certain substances that could be potentially hazardous to consumers’ health from products. While Target followed suit, it was recently announced at Bloomberg Business that Target Corp. has now expanded the list of nearly 600 substances/chemicals it wants vendors to remove from products, including triclosan, coal tars, and bisphenol A. Triclosan is an ingredient used in many hand sanitizers and soaps because of its antibacterial properties; bisphenol A and coal tars are used in some cosmetic products.
Two years ago, manufacturers were asked by Wal-Mart to phase out 10 substances from products (these substances were not disclosed). Both Wal-Mart and Target maintain lists and are targeting 1,000 chemicals the companies want suppliers to curb their use of. Wal-Mart is also pressuring vendors to become more transparent in the ingredients they use, disclosing those ingredients on the Internet beginning in January of next year.
According to Brian Sansoni, a spokesman for the American Cleaning Institute, manufacturers today are more capable of anticipating what retailers such as Target are looking for, and better equipped when it comes to dealing with the sustainability policies of retailers. Target spokeswoman, Angie Thompson, says that the company’s customers are more concerned about wellness and want to make better choices for their families and communities. Ultimately, today’s consumers want products that are cleaner, greener, and that contain fewer potentially dangerous chemicals.
At REA JET, we understand consumers’ needs to provide their families with products they trust and feel are safe, and their concern with product labeling. With retail giants Target and Wal-Mart demanding “cleaner” products, no doubt others will follow.
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