Trending Topics: Toxic Chemicals in Plastics and Consumer Products - Week of June 30

Trending Topics: Toxic Chemicals in Plastics and Consumer Products - Week of June 30 image

Reducing the chemical footprint of plastics:

Plastics Scorecard image

Plastics Scorecard and Valuing Plastic, two recent reports demonstrate how companies need to pay attention to the chemicals in plastics and the end of life impacts of plastics. For companies looking to reduce their environmental footprint, including their use of hazardous chemicals, plastics are a huge challenge. BizNGO’s Plastics Scorecard found nearly 250 million metric tons of high-concern chemicals used in plastics annually that pose risks to workers, consumers, communities and the global environment. It provides a whole product, life-cycle framework for evaluating plastics used in products and finding safer and lower-impact alternatives. Given the enormous volume produced– over 600 billion pounds annually – producing less toxic plastics could significantly improve environmental health  – as the United Nations’ Valuing Plastic report attests.


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Valuing Plastic Report

“Flame retardants are everywhere” image

Plastics in turn, are a leading end use for flame retardants. They’re found in penguins and in mothers, breast milk and children across the United States; in household dust, ordinary supermarket food and in virtually every geographic location scientists have searched worldwide. These are the flame retardants known as PBDEs that have been used in plastics and textiles since the 1970s. Found to be persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic, these compounds are released from the products in which they’re used and make their way into the surrounding environment, into the food web – and into us. Despite well-identified hazards, these chemicals are still in use at high volume. The solution? Truly safer alternatives, including improved product design that eliminates the needs for hazardous additives.


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California fines Bumble and Bumble, Walmart, and others for VOCs in products image

Hair and nail care products are contributing to smog: The California Air Resources Board has fined 19 companies for selling consumer products that violate air quality standards for smog-producing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The products include hair care products, nail polish remover, bathroom cleaners and air fresheners responsible for over 11 tons of excess VOC emissions. Companies paying the highest fines include Bumble and Bumble, Wal-Mart, Stoner (car care and other cleaning products), Alterna (hair care products) and Adoro & Triple Image (cosmetics).


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Kevin Delaney

June 05, 2015

This was a very timely article around this issue. I’ve been wrestling with this issue for the past year, so I was glad to see an article written to explore this.

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