Regulations banning the sale and use of personal care products containing microbeads have been approved by the Government.
The Waste Minimisation (Microbeads) Regulations 2017 have been made under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.
The ban was initiated by the previous Government, and will come into force in six months’ time.
The Minister for the Environment David Parker says the ban contributes to global efforts to reduce the amount of plastic ending up in oceans.
“Plastic microbeads are found in personal care products such as facial cleansers, bath scrubs and toothpaste.
“They get washed down the drain but are too small to be fully captured by our waste water treatment systems. These minute plastic particles enter the marine environment where they accumulate, do not biodegrade, and are mistaken for food. This causes long-term damage to New Zealand’s marine life,” he says.
The microbeads ban follows similar initiatives in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia.