The government has finalised regulations to ban the sale and manufacture of certain types of products containing plastic microbeads.
The regulations, which includes abrasive cleaning products, personal care products and cosmetics, is set to come into effect in early June 2018.
Public consultation on the proposed regulations took place in January 2017 and drew wide public support, with a total of 16,223 submissions received.
Many submitters urged the government to broaden the scope of the proposed ban to include other products containing microbeads.
In response the regulation has been widened to include all “wash-off” microbead-containing products for exfoliating, cleansing or abrasive cleaning purposes.
Minister for the Environment David Parker and Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage, welcomed Cabinet approval this week of the regulations banning microbeads.
“Plastic microbeads are found in personal care products such as facial cleansers, bath scrubs and toothpaste,” said Parker.
“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.”
The changes align with similar initiatives in the US, UK, Canada, France and Australia.