Mega-retailer Target has agreed to systematically reduce its use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. Otherwise known as vinyl, the company is aiming to reduce use of the substance primarily in kid-centric products such as infant goods and children’s toys. Shower curtains, packaging and fashion accessories are also on the retailer’s hit list.
PVC products, often manufactured in China, commonly contain toxic additives such as lead and phthalates, and Target’s cleaning house from the inside out, working with private-label manufacturers to reduce and/or eliminate the use of PVC in Target-branded goods. Infant products and toys are at the top of the list. Target baby bibs and changing tables have been mandated to be PVC-free by January 2008, and the company has also pledged to eliminate phthalates in most toys by Fall 2008.
According to a statement from the retailer, the recent spate of toy recalls played a role in making the move – a measure to reassure parents they would be buying safe products for their children.
Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Nike and Apple have also adopted similar measures in the past year.