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A Product Recall Scandal Can Sink Your Company: Dispose of Substandard Consumer Products

At first glance, consumer product disposal may not seem like it fits in the category of hazardous waste disposal. After all, it may not pose any imminent danger to people or the environment, making it easier to ignore. However, when it comes to protecting your customers, your reputation and the environment, it is just as important to hire the right experts to handle your consumer product waste as it is for any other hazardous materials.

Any time you have products which are expired, re-called, returned, off-spec or otherwise defective, they should be disposed of immediately and often require special handling. Such products can include:

  • Food and beverages
  • Pharmaceuticals (both prescription and non-prescription)
  • Cosmetics and perfumes
  • Aerosols
  • Lighter and engine fluids
  • Cleaning agents
  • Oils
  • Toys and electronics

HWDS can securely take any such products off of your hands, helping you make room for profitable inventory. For more information see our consumer product disposal page.

Expired food might still be edible and an off-spec toy may still be useable, but many companies have ruined their reputations and gravely injured customers by selling such products.

The importance of proper consumer product disposal is best illustrated by industry-disrupting scandals involving companies which failed to compliantly handle their sub-standard consumer products.

Defective Product Scandals

Expired Meat – $3.6 million

  • In 2014 it was discovered that Shanghai Husi Food and its U.S. parent OSI Group were selling expired meat products. Sub-standard meats were sold to industry giants McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Burger King among others.
  • The scandal cost $3.6 million in fines, 10 employees received prison sentences, the company’s food production license was revoked, and products were confiscated.

Re-called Pharmaceuticals – $3.3 billion

  • In 2005 Pfizer re-called Bextra, an arthritis painkiller, because it bore deadly heart risks and skin reactions.
  • A few years later, Pfizer paid $2.3 billion in a health-care fraud settlement. It was alleged that Pfizer had illegally marketed the dangerous drug. Pfizer’s total cost of the re-call, including the settlement, was $3.3 billion.

Contaminated Peanut Butter – $1 billion

  • In 2009 Peanut Corporation of America sold contaminated peanut butter which caused a salmonella epidemic killing 9 people and afflicting hundreds more.
  • The company was destroyed by the scandal. It declared bankruptcy, had to shut down and an executive employee was sentenced to 28 years in prison.
  • Approximately 360 different companies were forced to re-call 3,913 different products. The entire peanut butter industry took a huge hit as consumers stopped buying the product even from the most reputable and safe companies such as J.M. Smucker’s. As a whole, the industry lost $1 billion.

Defective Air Bags – $24 billion

  • Takata sold faulty air-bag inflators to major automakers worldwide. The defective products exploded at random, shooting sharp material at unwitting drivers. At least 20 people were killed by the air-bags.
  • Since the recalls began, 100 million were recalled worldwide and it is expected to take until 2023 to effectively eradicate a problem which has cost the auto industry $24 billion.

Re-called Pharmaceuticals – $100 million

  • In the 1980s 7 people died from Extra-Strength Tylenol laced with cyanide.
  • This was a best-selling product for Johnson and Johnson, and the company had to re-call 31 million bottles. The re-call cost $100 million ($250 million in today’s dollars).

Sub-standard consumer products threaten the safety of your customers and the future of your business; turn to the experts for safe handling and disposal. 

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