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The latest on plastic pollution




Last week, After a massive letter writing and social media blitz, The 5 Gyres Institute received word from Procter & Gamble’s Harald Schlatter, that Procter & Gamble will remove plastic micro-beads from their products by 2017. Though we applaud this move, The 5 Gyres Institute along with core campaign partners The Plastic Soup Foundation, Plastic Free Seas, and a coalition of nearly 100 NGOs worldwide believe this phase-out timeline is far too long. We have made demands with other manufacturers that all beads be removed by no later than January 1st, 2015 and wrote a letter a to this affect that went unanswered by Mr. Schlatter.


The ocean can’t afford trillions and trillions more of these beads entering our shared waters for 3.5 more years.  When we first approached P&G alerting them to the problem, they largely ignored our concerns. With pressure, they responded. But 2017 is too long a timeframe. 5 Gyres presented evidence of these beads making their way into our watersheds and our scientific paper documenting our micro-bead findings in The Great Lakes has been submitted for publication and is currently under peer review. We need action now.

PLEASE TAKE JUST 30 SECONDS to tell P&G that their timeline is unacceptable. TAKE ACTION NOW!! 

It takes just 30 seconds to sign our petition, send a letter to Procter & Gamble and Tweet and Facebook the campaign. We’ve already shown that we can win, let’s get a timeline that’s acceptable to our ocean and our community.


67 Responses

  1. What’s the hold-up? Do it now!

    • gladys esther segura (@gladysestherseg) says:

      Please, Do it now.

    • LLoyd Romine says:

      Plastic beads! There is abundant natural products that can replace plastic in skin care products. Please ,rise above plastic and stop thinking of it as the go to solution. P&G is a world renowned producer of all things household & military. It is time to get off the oil/plastic tread mill. Be a world leader and stop this unnecessary pollution and contamination of our and the worlds oceans.
      I know workers & managers at P&G do not want to eat sea food which has and will ingest these toxins Please remove the plastic beads NOW! For the sake of us all, both human & wild life. Thank you

  2. Vivian Johnston says:

    Please make your product safe for human use. The skin is our largest organ and it’s absorbability of toxin ingredients is immensely. These chemicals have been found in the fat and blood tests of humans young and old. Our organs aren’t made to filter multiples of toxin bombardment daily from daily use of poorly made products.

  3. Vivian Johnston says:

    Please make your product safe for human use. The skin is our largest organ and it’s absorbability of toxin ingredients is immense. These chemicals have been found in the fat and blood tests of humans young and old. Our organs aren’t made to filter multiples of toxin bombardment daily from daily use of poorly made products. We should have confidence that companies are making products for our best health and not detrimental.

  4. Melody Madden says:

    Unfortunately the only people that respond to these petitions are people who would not touch theses products. I’m sure we’re not affecting their profit margin. However, every little action counts. I do hope that such things reach woman who smother themselves in this toxic crap.

    • Stiv Wilson says:

      Melody, Not actually true– we’ve had several victories already in our campaign. THIS ACTION has made tremendous headway and is exactly what made Procter & Gamble respond publicly.

      • David Newman says:

        Hi Melody, thank you so much about caring about this very important issue and taking action.. Public awareness is the key to opening the doors to make change it’s like tiny steps that end up in a stampede company’s will act if pushed as they are not keen on negative PA also if another company makes a move they will take action as they like to be seen doing the green thing.. social media platforms carry great weight and together we are like ants We see a task before us and it looks overwhelming, so we’re tempted to give up. But when you see
        one ant trying to pull another insect ten times its size what happens ?

  5. Michelle Givvines says:

    PLEASE, join the other companies committing to a more reasonable timeline!

  6. salma says:

    take plastic out NOW

  7. Genevieve Abedon says:


  8. Amber Rehling says:

    These are products that should never have been introduced in the first place. Deliberately adding plastic to our waterways is unconscionable. 2017 is too long from now. Stop manufacturing these items now!

  9. Leanne Katterloher says:

    If Proctor and Gamble wishes to portray itself as a progressive company, I hope that it sees that people are starting to care what goes into their toiletries and lotions. Their hearing of the evidence against the chemicals that are currently used in many brands and they don’t like it – especially in products for children. Please take a step in the right direction and show some concern for the Earth as well.

  10. Mariellen Perla says:

    Take the plastic micro beads out now to save our oceans.

  11. Lia Scaglione says:

    I’ve always liked Olay products but refuse to buy any of them until they have removed plastic beads from the products in question. Our only real power is with our spending practices so just refuse to buy and we won’t have to wait until 2017.

  12. David Hurley says:


  13. Robert says:

    We need to protect our vital resources and that starts with you protecting our oceans!

  14. Michael Bennett says:

    Please take the beads out of our products, the environment can’t take this any longer.

  15. Bruce Mitchell says:

    I cannot find any means of signing the petition on my iPhone screen. Is this site not optimized for mobile users?

  16. Cherie Ailes says:

    Using plastic in your beauty products is cheap and irresponsible, I will make every effort not to buy your products.

  17. Jennifer Ruming says:

    Make your product safe for human use! Skin is our largest organ and it absorbs all those toxic ingredients. Make products that are good for our health. Plastics also equals death of marine life and destruction of habitat. STOP production of plastic micro-beads now!!

  18. Patrick Goo says:

    Proctor & Gamble,

    Please reconsider your time line removing the plastic beads from your skin care products. Since hearing this, which I was unaware that local water treatment plants can’t filter your small plastic beads, I will personally not purchase any of your products until I hear of a more acceptable time line for removing these from your products. We must take a stand now and forever to protect our oceans which in turn will protect ourselves to create and save the environment for future generations.

    Thanks and best regards,
    Patrick Goo

  19. Kate Eastwood says:

    I am shocked you use plastic beads in your product, please demonstrate some concern for the people rubbing it onto their face and to the earth which you come from.

  20. Harry Haslett says:

    Please remove these harmful additives before 2017. There’s plenty of natural ingredients that can serve the same purpose and the consumer would prefer to purchase and you would show that your company does respect the environment and will be aware of harmful products adding to the pollution of our earth.
    Harry Haslett

  21. Penny Whiting says:

    PLEASE pay attention to the planet’s needs and stop being LIMITED by business – rather than the safety of our planet.

  22. Claire says:

    Rise above plastics! Do it now, it should never have started :)

  23. colleen ryan says:

    Please reformulate your products and remove the plastic!

  24. c says:

    Please remove remove plastic beads asap! Thank you.

  25. Jonathan Bush says:

    Please remove the plastic beads from your products. We do not need any more plastics in our water! We must all pull together to limit and eventually eliminate plastics in all waters. It is the only healthy choice. Your cooperation will help make the world a better place for generations to come. Your prompt action would be appreciated. Thank you.

  26. Roderik says:


  27. Nanette says:

    Why even buy these products? Do we really need them? A healthy diet and exercise are probably better for us than covering our bodies with creams and lotions and make-up. Women would be happier if they would accept themselves as they are. Creams aren’t really going to stop the aging process. Hopefully, our family and friends like us as we are.

  28. Noni Sanford says:

    Tiny plastic beads just kill tinier animals, how many of these beads are in one tube of your product? Think of the lives you may save by keeping them out of our water.

  29. Please take plastic beads out of your products by 2015! The longer you wait, the larger the plastic pollution will be in our waters.

  30. Kerry Eyre says:

    Why leave it so late? The damage has already been caused, don’t make it any worse. P & G STOP PLASTIC MICRO BEADS NOW!!!! We don’t need it, and the Ocean and it’s ecosystem certainly doesn’t need it. If you have to put ‘micro beads’ into your products use natural sources such as nuts which will biodegrade in time.

  31. Rene Rovekamp says:

    Please keep our oceans as clean as your product wants to clean our skin and eliminate plastic

  32. Get creative and get plastics out of your products!

  33. Amber says:

    Dear P&G, our oceans are too precious to continue to become polluted with those little beads in our face cleansers. Please consider making the disappearance of these products including those beads come faster! 2017 is still 4 years away, billions of beads will collect into the ocean by then! And as word spreads that these products are harmful to nature, your sales will hopefully drop anyways – so you might as well consider moving you timeline back to a closer year!


  34. Brian Moran says:

    You are a multi-billion dollar corporation, this type of change should not take over 3 yrs to implement. In the mean time maybe we should delay buying any of your products.

  35. No more plastic in my face or in my water

  36. Christina says:

    Please remove plastic beads from your products as soon as possible. There are numerous alternatives that do not harm our water supply or our oceans. It is every human’s responsibility to care for our planet. By knowingly using products that poison our oceans and damage the food chain is disturbingly irresponsible for a company like P&G. I for one will avoid purchasing ALL P&G products until plastic beads are removed from these products. I urge anyone reading this to do the same. Thank you.

  37. Rebecca says:

    Please! I beg and urge you to remove the little beads from your products! Our oceans need this so badly. Don’t delay. Well, at least no later than Jan 1, 2015. Thank you!!!!!!!!!

  38. Gabrielle M. says:

    “JUST DO IT!”

  39. Ans de Reujke says:

    Stoppen met de toevoegingen van plastic in onze producten!!!!!

  40. Ina Nouel says:

    Remove plastic Beads from your products now.
    2017 is far too long to wait.

  41. Laure Dunne says:

    Every poly bead is another step toward total pollution! Stop producing products that contribute to the demise of our waters!

  42. Brigette Andrews says:

    Time is of the essence. Please speed up the process to remove plastic beads.

  43. Jennifer Hartz says:

    Please help protect our oceans and our future by making the necessary changes now. These plastic beads cause much more damage than you may think…please do the research and educate yourselves. I have been a regular consumer of your products for years, especially OLAY…but now I will have to find a more Eco-conscious company to do business with. Make the change now..not later…if not the word will spread and it will negatively affect your company and you know it!

  44. Deborah Millis says:

    Please remove plastic where you can!! make more things refillable! We are not going away!!

  45. Dennis and Kerry Bailey says:

    Look for an organic substitute. Stop contributing to the plastic pollution. Please move quickly.

  46. Tanya Saunders says:

    I urge P&G to discontinue these products now.

  47. Kori Ventura says:

    Please act because the time is now, the bandwagon is waiting for you to jump on and be a responsible ecological company! Tell the world that you care about something far greater than what meets the eye. You could team up with someone who grows nuts to help sustainability and make your company better!

  48. Julia Chunn-Heer says:

    The impacts from these micro beads are immense, and must be stopped! Removing the beads by 2015 is a fair and reasonable target. We can’t afford another two years of unnecessary destruction!

  49. Jeff Wilson says:

    P&G…. I realize it takes time to transform a supply chain, but on this we’re talking about one raw material input. It is not unreasonable to secure, with your power and influence, a natural/renewable source for your scrub beads within a year and a half. And you will make your biggest customer Wal-Mart look better in the process too.
    Thank you, Jeff Wilson

  50. Jere Stephano says:

    Please be a manufacturer who is part of the solution for removing macro plastics from our ocean. Birds and aquatic life eat the plastic beads, thinking they are food instead of toxins. Our world and the species in it will thank you for substituting shells or other natural product.

  51. Kim Colley says:

    P & G,
    Please help save the emvironment so our kids can have a chance to enjoy it too!

  52. Roger Linville says:

    Don’t wait for marketing to figure out how to spin it – just do it now!

  53. liz friedman says:

    2017 is a ridiculously long time to fulfill this important promise. what may seem like an inconvenience to you, or slightly more expensive, is nothing compared to what is going on in our world because of our widespread use of plastics. I can assure you I will tell everyone i know, and everyone i don’t know that can hear me, that you continue to have this as part of your product when asked to eliminate it….and that other companies have changed more rapidly. the financial pain you save by not moving more quickly will undoubtedly be outweighed by the losses when people choose to not use your product because of the environmental harm you are not trying to urgently change.

  54. [...] if you feel like this is not enough, feel free to support 5GYRES campaign by signing there [...]

  55. Jeff Tellex says:

    Please remove plastic now!

  56. Antonia Jensen says:

    Dear P&G;
    You give me yet another reason to avoid any of your products, just by your lack of moral concern about your environment and the people you fleece in the name of the almighty $DOLLAR$.
    You would prevent so much pollution from the residual effects making of these “Plastic Beads” to the accumulation of the beads that make their way to our water supply by replacing it with something biodegradable .
    How you continue to proffer off of the stupidity of the mass is shameful and embarrassing to all mankind you pretend to represent.
    You can resolve this problem sooner, you just do not want to because of the financial wheeling s and dealings you are so deeply involved in.

  57. Susana Castroman says:

    We want safe products for our bodies and our oceans.

  58. Please put an end to this and any other practice with which you pollute OUR world. Believe it or not we share it and sooner or later you’ll feel the effects of your disregard and so will those you care about. No more plastic beads immediately.

  59. C. says:

    Thank you P & G for agreeing to remove micro-plastic beads from Olay Cream Scrub. As you know, Unilever Global decided (at the request of stakeholders) to phase-out this waste-product (not what they called it, but because of where these plastic beads can end up—floating in the ocean as unintended and unhealthy fish food) in their personal care products by 2015.

    Each Olay product containing micro-plastic beads is symbolically similar to the ocean with its plastic garbage.

    If we buy it, you are asking us to use it on our face!

    No thank you, Olay!

    We want to get clean!

    Not dirty!

    And certainly not deadly!

    What we put on our face is more personal somehow than using a plastic bag to carry out our groceries from the store. (And it is not just one company using plastics that end up in the ocean).This is one story that could open more eyes to the ocean’s plight and help to see the bigger picture of what we are each doing wrong and help us to find a way to change.

    Unilever is looking into different options besides plastic and their time-frame is fortunately sooner.

  60. Simon Dixon says:

    I use Olay products. Have used only Olay for many years. Now I find that you make me an accomplice in fouling our waterways and you can’t be arsed to make changes for 3 years?! Well I can make changes much faster. You may not go with the Jan 1, 2015 deadline, but I assure you I will – and if I do everyone I am connected to on Facebook and Twitter will know so and why. (And I don’t habitually do such things so I believe it will resonate). I’d much rather just stay doing business with you P&G. Please don’t make me find a new product. – But I’m buggered if I’m going to feel guilty as a slop your stuff on every morning and night. Not when apparently I have options. Remember what Jerry Maguire said: “help me to help you!”

  61. Donna Buck says:

    P&G, do a campaign that tells us what you are doing to HELP the environment, not destroy it! I have a choice with my pocketbook but you have a larger choice. NOW.

  62. R.Scott says:

    Please remove the plastic. Until then I will use alternative products. Thank you

  63. Dana Gildemeister says:

    Please keep our water safe! There are alternative products that can be used for exfoliating. Please use those instead of plastic. The idea of putting plastic on your face is strange anyways. Thank you, Dana

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