Organic Consumers Association

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Johnson & Johnson and Other Companies: Remove Microplastics from Your Products!

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Coming Clean Campaign page.

 Our oceans are choking with plastic, reducing vast parts of the seas to toxic gyres of swirling trash that will last for thousands of years. Now, personal product conglomerates like Johnson & Johnson and others have unleashed "microbeads" -- tiny shards of plastic used as exfoliants in beauty products -- designed to be washed down the drain where they flow right past clean-up systems out to sea.

These plastic pellets chemically attract and absorb toxins in the sewage, and are often mistaken for food by fish that gobble them up, allowing the pellets -- and the toxins along for the ride -- to work their way up the food chain. Many microbeads are so tiny that they show up in the bloodstreams of the animals that eat them, where they'll be lodged in the host until it dies.

Tell Johnson & Johnson to remove microbeads from its products now!

Microbeads are being dumped into our oceans in huge quantities: Neutrogena's "Deep Clean" facial cleanser contains over 350,000 microbeads in each tube alone. Companies that package and pack their products full of pollutants try to blame us for the problem. They say that any time their trash ends up in the ocean, it's our responsibility, part of a long line of using "personal responsibility" to shift all the blame to the consumer. But a clean future is our collective responsibility, and we have to fight for it on every level.

Johnson & Johnson has said that it would take two years to phase out microbeads, but the company is asking to be given four years, in a non-binding pledge. Companies want to get away with making non-binding pledges that they don't have to live up to until years into the future, hoping that we will forget before they have to fulfill them. But legislatures are catching on. Earlier this week, the New York State Assembly voted 108-0 to ban microbead products, and California and Illinois will soon vote on similar bills. The companies that profit from these pollutants are lobbying intensely to keep up their "freedom" to trash the ocean, but if J&J can become a leader in cleaning up its products, it will push other companies to come along    
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