The fifth annual Who’s Minding the Store? Retailer Report Card by Toxic-Free Future shows that the largest retailers in the United States and Canada continue to make substantial progress towards reducing and eliminating toxic chemicals and offering safer, more sustainable products and packaging. These retail sustainability actions are preventing toxic pollution of communities, workers, homes, water, food, people, and wildlife.
Fifty major retailers were evaluated this year, up from 43 in 2019. Together, these retailers have more than 200,000 stores across the United States and Canada. See the retailer grades.
However, far too many U.S. and Canadian retailers have failed to demonstrate meaningful progress on chemical safety, with 12 out of the 50 retailers evaluated in this report card receiving failing grades.
It is time for retailers to recognize the clear link between toxic chemicals, oil and gas, plastic pollution, and our climate crisis. Taking action on toxic chemicals is central to solving the problems we face with the continued use of fossil fuels to make chemically intensive products, plastics, and packaging. At the same time, the rush to reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost to create a “circular economy” will be an utter failure if it remains a toxic economy. It is time for retailers to recognize these connections and take bolder actions. See the recommendations.
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