Johnson & Johnson Has a Dirty Secret About Microbeads
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.
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Four years ago, Jacob Abel cast his first presidential vote for Donald Trump. As a young conservative from Concord, North Carolina, the choice felt natural.
But this November, he plans to cast a "protest vote" for a write-in candidate or abstain from casting a ballot for president. A determining factor in his 180-degree turn? Climate change.
Fractures Among Young Climate Conservatives<p>While young conservatives have united around the urgency of climate change, they remain divided over how to bring their concerns to the ballot box. Some embrace right-wing <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-attacks-republican-convention/2020/08/24/434e5b46-e66d-11ea-970a-64c73a1c2392_story.html" target="_blank">attacks</a> painting Biden as a "tool of the left" and find his climate agenda "radical." Others can't find a way to justify voting for Trump, even if it means breaking with their party.</p><p>Patrick Mann from Orange County, California, voted for Trump in 2016. But today, he's leading Aggies for Joe at Texas A&M University and is co-founder of Texas Students for Biden. </p><p>Mann grew up watching wildfires ravage his home state, nearly forcing his family to evacuate in 2017. The GOP is failing to "meet the moment" for climate action, Mann said. He's hoping Biden will deliver on a promise to "<a href="https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/caucus/2020/01/06/joe-biden-democrat-president-iowa-caucus-restore-soul-our-nation/2806422001/" target="_blank">restore the soul of our nation</a>." </p><p>Taylor Walker from Pensacola, Florida, is also determined to make her voice heard on climate, including by casting her first-ever vote for president—but not for Biden.</p>
A False Equivalency<p>Young climate conservatives may fear climate denial and delayed climate action, but more than that, they fear the growing political momentum around the Green New Deal, the massive spending it entails and <a href="https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/" target="_blank">Biden's citing of it</a> as a "crucial framing for meeting the climate challenges we face."</p><p>Many don't want to split with their party to support a Democrat whose <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/09/03/757220130/joe-biden-on-bipartisanship-gun-control-and-regrets-over-inaction-after-a-traged" target="_blank">allegedly bipartisan intentions</a> they doubt. If stymieing what they consider a radical green agenda means re-electing a climate change denying president, so be it. </p><p>"I'm scared of climate change, but I'm also scared of the Green New Deal and what it means for America," said Ben Mutolo, a republicEN spokesperson and junior at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. </p><p>Mutolo felt encouraged by former Ohio Governor John Kasich's <a href="https://www.rollcall.com/2020/08/17/kasich-speech-to-democratic-convention-follows-years-of-building-conservative-credentials/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">appearance</a> at the Democratic National Convention, but he still struggles to see himself voting for Biden. Though the candidate paints himself as a <a href="https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-08-12/harris-biden-different-generation-similar-political-instinct" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">centrist,</a> Mutolo believes he's "cozying up to the ultra-progressive left." </p><p>Mutolo, who wants to see market-based climate solutions like a carbon tax, feels torn between a candidate whose climate plan relies on taking an "<a href="https://joebiden.com/environmental-justice-plan/#" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">All-of-Government approach</a>," and one with no efforts to reign in global warming at all. <span></span></p><p>Leiserowitz said he appreciated how a conservative might feel Biden's climate plan "doesn't jive with their limited government, free-market approach."</p><p>But he sees a strong distinction between voting for a presidential candidate with a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/us/politics/biden-climate-plan.html" target="_blank">$2 trillion climate plan</a> that includes large renewable energy investments, which have <a href="https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/politics-global-warming-april-2020/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">bipartisan support</a>, and a candidate trying "to take the country in the opposite direction, towards more fossil fuels."</p>
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