Tag Archives: corporations

Plastic Pollution in the Great Lakes and the Fight Against Corporations


Plastic is not just invading our oceans, but is finding it's way to our fresh water lakes as well. One recent discovery made by the 5 Gyres Institute in Lake Erie found more than 450,000 micro polyethylene beads per square kilometer. Please excuse my switching from mile to KM in these articles. We are going through a transition here in the US to the metric system, and it's one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

The amazing thing about this discovery and the 5 Gyres Institute? The findings lead the institute to launch a massive grassroots campaign asking producers of these products (personal care products which contain plastic beads as an exfoliant) to eliminate plastic micro-beads in favor of natural alternatives.

"After reporting their scientific findings to companies that utilize micro-beads, the 5 Gyres Insitute has won several key victories that will help protect the Great Lakes ecosystem. Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, The Body Shop and Colgate-Palmolive have all pledged to remove these synthetic beads from their products by 2015. The 5 Gyres Institute has also received a pledge from Proctor & Gamble to phase out these beads by 2017, but the campaigning for an earlier phase-out continues." – http://ecowatch.com/2013/5-gyres-sets-sail-study-plastic-pollution-lake-michigan/

This is awesome! Corporations are paying attention to their findings and the grassroots campaigns. Here's a blog update from the 5 Gyres celebrating Victory #2 against Johnson & Johnson: http://5gyres.org/posts/2013/06/04/victory_2/ – Johnson & Johnson will phase out the use of plastic micro-beads.

Check out this video the 5 Gyres Institute put together. Over the course of four weeks, students and researchers lived and worked aboard a 200 year old sailing ship, conducting surface trawls and beach transects. They made the startling discovery that plastic pollution is not limited to our oceans: 5 Gyres Institute video