American beauty retailer, Ulta Beauty Inc., has recently come under fire for improper storing, handling, and disposing of hazardous waste. 

34 district and city attorneys across the state of California came together in part of a lawsuit against Ulta, as they believe “companies must be held responsible for business practices that pose harm to the environment.” 

According to the complaint, Ulta stores in California often mishandled hazardous materials. Flammable, reactive, toxic, and corrosive goods such as certain cosmetics, fragrances, nail polish, and electronics, were mostly improperly disposed of. Instead of being transported to a designated hazardous waste disposal facility, those products were thrown away in standard trash containers and dumpsters. 

Scott Alonso, one of the attorneys involved, has explained that they “just looked inside [Ulta’s] dumpster and found all these products mixed in with regular trash… if you don’t dispose of these products properly you can do immense harm to the environment.” 

The complaint also expresses that Californian Ulta stores have failed to document and store hazardous waste, nor have they trained employees to handle them correctly. 

As a part of the settlement process, Ulta was required to pay $752,000 in fines for civil penalties and costs for supplemental environmental projects. One of their projects was to implement a compliance program to ensure they will dispose of hazardous materials properly in the future. 

The attorneys did have good news though, as “Ulta was cooperative throughout the investigation and in correcting the issues.” 

161 Ulta stores across California went under investigation, and all of them have adopted new policies and procedures to manage and dispose of hazardous waste correctly. So now, Alonso states that “products like sunscreen, makeup and nail polish remover and all those things are being tracked. So they know where it’s going. Before they didn’t have any record and that was our big issue.” 

If you have concerns about shipping hazardous goods, we have a quick guideline available here: Shipping Hazardous Goods? Here Are Some Quick Facts! 

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