California’s Safer Consumer Products Law, or Green Chemistry Initiative, went into effect this month with the objective of making numerous everyday goods safer for public use. Products from household cleaning supplies to packaging will be affected by this legislation on “green chemistry,” defined by the EPA as “the design of chemical products and processes that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances.”
Although this is a piece of state legislation, it will likely have widespread impacts for corporate operations across the United States and even throughout the global supply chain. California is the largest consumer market in the U.S. and a wide variety of companies will possibly need to reformulate all of their affected goods, regardless of destination. Furthermore, the implementation of this law is being watched closely by other state legislative bodies, and may become a template for state action throughout the country. Lawmakers in Michigan, Maine, New York, and Massachusetts are all currently considering similar action.