REI members nationwide rally at REI stores this week, following company inaction
September 20, 2022
This week, REI members take to the streets of REI stores nationwide demanding that outdoor retailer REI set a clear timeline to eliminate toxic PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) as part of a year-long national campaign led by Toxic-Free Future’s Mind the Store program, Safer States, and partners. Spanning 12 cities in 11 states, REI customers will deliver a petition with more than 130,000 signatures to REI’s flagship stores in their hometown of Seattle and in Manhattan demanding action on PFAS “forever chemicals.”
Walmart removes nearly 37 million pounds of toxic “priority chemicals” from its products
July 22, 2022
Walmart recently published an update to its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) website stating that, between 2017 to 2020, it achieved a 17% reduction in its footprint of “priority chemicals,” which equates to the removal of 36.5 million pounds of toxic chemicals from private-label and brand-name cosmetics, personal care, household cleaners, and formulated baby care products in the U.S. As the first major U.S. retailer to have announced a broad time-bound chemical footprint reduction goal, the 17% reduction in three years exceeds its original goal of 10% in five years.
Mid-year review: states lead the way on toxic chemical policies
July 11, 2022
Most states have now finished their legislative sessions and, as Safer States’ analysis predicted earlier this year, there has been significant action on toxic chemicals in state policies across the country, especially ones focused on PFAS “forever chemicals”. So far this year, bipartisan majorities in 13 states have adopted at least 22 policies that will help transform our economic system to be one that better protects communities and creates incentives for industry to develop safer chemicals.
Rhode Island Governor Signs into Law Notable Ban on Toxic PFAS Chemicals in Food Packaging
July 08, 2022
On Tuesday, July 5, Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee signed into law a policy that bans toxic chemicals known as PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in all types of food packaging by 2024. In addition to becoming the 11th state to ban PFAS from food packaging, this policy requires food packaging solutions to be less hazardous and targets PFAS chemicals used in the production of food packaging, not just the food packaging material itself. Rhode Island’s policy will also restrict PFAS and heavy metals in recycled content food packaging starting in July 2027.
Illinois Governor Signs into Law First-Ever Statewide Ban of PFAS Incineration
June 30, 2022
On Wednesday, June 8, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law a first-in-the-nation policy that prohibits the disposal by incineration of PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) that are listed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory. This includes, but is not strictly limited to, PFAS substances that are often found in aqueous film-forming foam, otherwise known as firefighting foam. In 2020, New York adopted a similar law that banned the incineration of PFAS-containing firefighting foams at a specific facility, but Illinois is the first to issue a statewide ban on incinerating certain PFAS.
Bipartisan amendment to ban PFAS chemicals in food packaging passed in key Senate committee today
June 14, 2022
Today, the Keep Food Containers Safe From PFAS Act was passed as an amendment to the FDA Safety and Landmark Advancements (FDASLA) Act of 2022 on a bipartisan vote (13-9) in the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP). The amendment, which will ban the use of PFAS (perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances) in food packaging, was offered by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) with the support of Senator Murkowski (R-AK).
Washington state releases final report for landmark law that protects people and wildlife from toxic chemicals in products
June 08, 2022
On Monday, the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) released its final report, as part of its Safer Products for Washington law, formalizing its plan to undertake the most significant restriction of toxic chemicals in products ever by a state. Ecology intends to ban four classes of harmful chemicals in 10 product categories.
Colorado Governor Signs First-in-Nation Ban on PFAS “Forever Chemicals” in Oil and Gas Products
June 03, 2022
Today, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law a groundbreaking bipartisan bill restricting the sale of PFAS “forever chemicals” in consumer products including oil and gas products; carpets or rugs; cosmetics; fabric treatments; food packaging; juvenile products; textile furnishings; and upholstered furniture. While several states have passed legislation to restrict PFAS in certain products, Colorado is the first in the U.S. to include a prohibition on PFAS chemicals in fluids that are used in the extraction of oil and gas products. Colorado is also the first state in the country to pass a state law that explicitly bans the entire class of PFAS in cosmetics, textile furnishings and indoor and outdoor furniture.
The New Reuse Economy Spurred by Plastic Pollution and Local Entrepreneurs
May 18, 2022
The world is waking up to the fact that our current Throw-Away Economy is not compatible with living on a finite planet. Rather than treating people and the planet as disposable, we need to move to a New Reuse Economy where consumer products are delivered in reusable packaging made from justly produced, sustainable and non-toxic materials.
REI fails to commit to phasing out PFAS “forever chemicals” from products it makes and sells
May 17, 2022
Yesterday, during its annual member meeting, REI leadership failed to commit to phasing out toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” from the products it makes and sells. The company addressed the PFAS problem during the meeting following nationwide public pressure led by Toxic-Free Future’s Mind the Store program, including on its own message board. However, REI’s response did not provide new commitments nor a date or timeline towards phasing out these toxic “forever chemicals.