Top Retailers Earn Failing Grades for Toxic Chemicals

Because of regulations, you might think that shopping from major retailers is the safest way to go. After all, large companies are trusted by millions of customers and have recognizable names. But, major companies got failing grades for containing toxic chemicals according to the annual report called “Who’s Minding the Store? A Report Card on Retailer Actions to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals.”

The brands, stores and restaurants that failed were 7-Eleven, 99 Cents Only, Ace Hardware, Burger King, Circle K, Couche-Tard, Nordstrom, Popeyes, Publix, Sally Beauty, Starbucks, Subway and Tim Hortons. All but two of these companies have been on the list before. They “are repeat offenders. They deserve special dishonorable mention for having earned an F grade across multiple years of grading,” according to the report. Four of them haven’t made a move to make any improvements since last year’s report.

We score companies on a curve,” said report co-author and Mind the Store campaign director Mike Schade. “All a company has to do to break out of an F is to get more than 15 points, and companies can earn up to 164 possible points. For example, Nordstrom earned 13 points while Target earned 105 points.”

To calculate the scores, they look at many aspects of how the company operates And then simply add it up. If you look at the page for 7-Eleven, you can see they received an F grade with six points out of 164. They received three points out of a possible 26 for reducing chemicals and plastics of high health concern in the last three years. They also received three points out of 10 for steady improvements in using safer chemicals. But in areas like policy, oversight, accountability, disclosure, transparency and many others, they received no points.

The report is interesting, it’s nicely laid out and you can click on different stores and easily read their scores. We’re pleased Walmart did well as we work with Walmart, and Glucocil is sold there! The thing you might be surprised by is how few of the brands come away looking “good.” We all know that there will be some bad operators in life. But, you might not expect there to be so many grocery stores so low on the list of safe and healthy stores. The report may end up changing your shopping habits!

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