Remove Harmful Plastic from Toothpaste


Target: Alan Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble

Goal: Convince major toothpaste brand to remove harmful plastic from its products immediately

Crest, a major toothpaste brand owned by Procter & Gamble, has recently been under fire for putting harmful additives in its toothpaste. The plastic, polyethylene, has proven to be destructive to consumers’ health as well as the environment. Because of the negative feedback the additive has received, Crest has pledged to fully remove the plastic from its product within the next two years. While this is a good direction, two more years of consumer and environmental harm is unacceptable.

Polyethylene appears in Crest toothpaste as micro-beads, which are considered an aesthetic additive. The company insists that consumers enjoy the feeling of the micro-beads on their teeth and, since polyethylene is approved for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Crest insists that the plastic is safe. However, numerous accounts from Crest users depict a very painful brushing experience, with many people developing large, constant sores and bleeding lips. Not to mention, the environmental impact of polyethylene is massive. Millions of tiny polyethylene particles have been found per mile in the Great Lakes. Fish eat the plastic and in turn pass the toxins on to humans and wildlife. Because of these glaringly negative issues, many states have completely banned polyethylene from consumer products.

After issuing a public apology to consumers who were negatively affected by polyethylene, Crest agreed to stop putting the plastic in its product. The company’s proposed transition away from the additive will take two years, which is too long to wait. Polyethylene is a dangerous toxin and it must be removed immediately from Crest toothpastes. Urge the CEO of Procter & Gamble to fully remove the toxin from Crest products within months, not years.


Dear Mr. Lafley,

Crest toothpaste has been under fire for containing the harmful additive polyethylene. This plastic toxin has caused extremely painful sores in and around the mouths of consumers. It has also been found in important bodies of water, as well as in fish and beings that eat the fish. Simply put, polyethylene is a pollutant and it does not belong in a consumable product.

Your company has agreed to fully remove polyethylene from Crest toothpaste by March 2016. I understand that you will decrease the addition of the toxin to Crest gradually throughout the next two years, however, I insist that the removal be immediate. I, along with the undersigned, urge you to order a full removal of polyethylene within a few months, rather than two years. Neither the environment nor consumers should suffer any longer.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Scott Ehardt via Wikimedia Commons

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