Johnson & Johnson pledged to phase out the use of microbeads in their personal care products by the end of 2017. It may seem as if they are taking a step in the right direction to help our environment, but it seems as though their plan is to replace plastic microbeads with other plastic alternatives. There are many natural, degradable alternatives to plastic microbeads like apricot pits, sea salt, ground almonds, and rice. There is no need to resort to using other plastic alternatives. Biodegradable alternatives aren’t proven to break down in a reasonable time, which can cause the same amount of harm as the plastic microbeads in the products already.
After the bill had passed in California, banning microbeads along with banning biodegradable microbeads, Johnson & Johnson stated in the New York times that the California microbead bill would be overly restrictive. “We believe the current bill in California is overly restrictive, inhibits innovation and does not allow for current and future advancements in biodegradable exfoliate alternatives,” (Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson). There are more than 3,000 products containing plastic microbeads. It is important that large companies take a stand and set an example by doing what is right for our environment.