After delivering a dumpster to a Wal-Mart in Lewistown, PA, we heard some great news about  a new business plan created by the discount giant. Since it will affect customers, we thought our readers might like to hear about it.

This week, Wal-Mart released a detailed outline of their new plan to reduce consumers’ exposure to harmful chemicals. They are now demanding higher standards of safety from their suppliers, forcing many to reformulate products in order to remain on the store’s shelves. These personal care products — such as soaps, makeup, household cleaners, and even baby products — will have to be formed without toxins.

This is a bit of revolutionary step, as not even the federal government has this kind of power over manufacturers. According to, Wal-Mart is such a big customer for these manufacturers that reformulating is the only option. Taking products off the shelves would be too large of a hit to the companies’ profits.

Manufacturers have until January 2015 to disclose ingredients, and within a few years they must comply with Wal-Mart’s new standards. Wal-Mart has identified certain dangerous chemicals that they will not allow to be sold from their chain, many of which are currently used in personal care products. They consider these chemicals dangerous because they cause cancer, reproductive problems, or pose another health or environmental threat.

In October, Target announced a similar plan that encouraged manufacturers to phase out the use of harmful chemicals. This new trend has environmentalists excited about the future. Certainly, Wal-Mart’s and Target’s requirements will cause companies to permanently change formulas for sale in every store. Finally, retailers can come together and accomplish important consumer health goals that are even out of the government’s power.

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