Instead of moving to safe, natural alternatives, Johnson & Johnson wants to replace plastic microbeads with more plastic. They recently came out in the New York Times against the California microbead ban, even after pledging in 2013 to ban microbeads in their products.
Across the country in states like Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey and Oregon, Johnson & Johnson is working to sabotage microbead bans with a sneaky loophole. By subtly tweaking the definition of a microbead, the loophole would allow companies to replace traditional plastic microbeads with other types of dangerous plastics, like the type used in cigarette filters.
Plastic microbeads are found in beauty products like toothpaste and facial scrubs in staggering quantities. One tube of exfoliating scrub can contain more than 350,000 plastic microbeads. It’s estimated that 471 million microbeads are released into the San Francisco Bay every day. No microbead alterative that still uses plastic will stop the toxic effect microbeads has on our oceans and our health.
5 Gyres and a coalition of leading environmental groups have cosponsored the California bill, AB 888. It would ban toxic plastic microbeads in California and pave the way for the widespread use of degradable alternatives like apricot pits, sea salt and ground almonds.
The bill faces major opposition as it heads to the California state Senate from beauty care giant Johnson & Johnson, who called the bill “too restrictive” in the New York Times. Thanks to massive public pressure from 5 Gyres, Johnson & Johnson already pledged to remove plastic microbeads from its products. So why would they oppose a law that simply makes them keep their promise?
Our California legislators have heard from Johnson & Johnson’s lobbyists—Now they need to hear from you.
Click here to send a letter to your California state Senator today to choose the ocean over lobbyists and pass AB 888 for plastic-free waters.
If you don’t live in California, 5 Gyres is working at the federal level to pass The Microbead-Free Waters Act, a national microbead ban. You can click here to write a letter of support for that bill.