On January 5, a California superior court judge ordered Safeway to pay nearly $10 million as part of a legal settlement. Several dozen government agencies brought suit against the supermarket chain for illegally disposing of hazardous waste in landfills. The waste came from cleaners, aerosols, hair dyes and other products sold in Safeway stores.
Just last month, a report issued by the UN said companies face steep fines and take unnecessary risks by failing to use safer chemicals.
Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families said:
“Using safer chemicals isn’t just the right thing to do for our health and environment, but clearly also makes sense for a company’s bottom line. This settlement shows that retailers who don’t properly manage toxic chemicals in their supply chain do so at their own financial risk. We urge Safeway to adopt a comprehensive policy to identify, eliminate, and safely substitute hazardous chemicals in products on their store shelves.”
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is a national coalition that represents more than 11 million individuals and includes parents, health professionals, advocates for people with learning and developmental disabilities, reproductive health advocates, environmentalists and businesses from across the nation. The coalition’s Mind the Store Campaign has been encouraging Safeway and other top retailers to adopt a comprehensive plan of action to address toxic chemicals in their products and supply chain.