In light of growing concern about the impacts of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), Coop Denmark has announced that they will not carry cosmetics or personal care products containing PFAS from September 2019.
Utilised in many applications for their durability, PFAS do not ultimately biodegrade. Because of this, they can pollute the environment. Some PFAS have also been found to be bioaccumlative and toxic to aquatic life. Having this combination of characteristics puts these PFAS in the group of high concern chemicals. Some PFAS have formally been classified as persistent organic pollutants. However, based on current evidence, some PFAS appear to be less bioaccumulative and have lower toxic to aquatic life.
Most environments around the world are now polluted with at least one type of PFAS – particularly sites where fire-fighting foam has previously been used, as this is a major use of PFAS. The identification of multiple sites contaminated with PFAS has heightened public awareness.
The announcement follows moves by US supermarket chain Whole Foods Market, in December last year, to remove PFAS from their food packaging.
Coop Denmark operates a number of supermarkets in Denmark, dominating 40% of the Danish consumer goods market. Its brands are regularly identified by the Sustainable Brand Index as some of the most sustainable in Denmark.