Unilever, the maker of Vaseline, Axe deodorants and Dove soaps, among other cosmetic and hygiene products, says it will phase out the use of microplastics by 2015.
Many soaps, skin scrubs and shower gels contain microplastics, which are tiny polyethelene beads. Scientists and environmental groups are concerned that they contribute to polluting oceans.
The company said Thursday that it has "decided to phase out the use of plastic micro beads as a 'scrub' material in all of our personal care products" by 2015.
Unilever is one of the world's largest consumer product companies, competing with Nestle SA and Procter & Gamble Co.