More than 180 organisations have written to US EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to support the agency’s Safer Choice programme. Among signatories to the letter are the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA), the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and the worldwide cleaning association, ISSA.
Bryan McGannon, ASBC policy director, says the letter is "a proactive attempt to demonstrate broad private sector support for the Safer Choice programme".
Steve Caldeira, president and CEO of the CSPA adds: "Administrator Pruitt has every right to assess programmes that don’t work or that may be unnecessary. However, we also believe that the significant investments made by our member companies should be protected, as they are increasingly benefitting consumers."
Rumours that the initiative would be named for axing in President Trump's recently published blueprint budget proposals were unfounded.
However, Mr McGannon says industry is keen to highlight the importance of the programme, as Congress is ultimately responsible for passing and appropriating the budget.
The letter says: "The Safer Choice programme has been, and continues to be, an invaluable resource to industry by working with individual companies to help them develop and promote new and innovative products that meet the rising demand by consumers, businesses, schools and hospitals for products and goods that possess an excellent environmental, health and safety profile."
The organisations say the national initiative "is preferable to a patchwork quilt of logo programmes being promulgated and managed by retailers and NGOs, or local governments" and that it "strikes a balance between protecting confidential business information and public disclosure".
Companies signing the letter include:
- large chemicals producers, such as BASF, Dow Chemical and DSM;
- personal care product companies Henkel and P&G;
- consumer brands, Honeywell, Levi Strauss and Seventh Generation, and Staples;
- retailers, Walmart and Target; and
- smaller niche manufacturers.