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Update Date
Dec 6, 2017 10:40:37 AM
Risk Information Division

[New Zealand] Plastic microbeads ban (2017-12-05)

The Government has finalised regulations to ban the sale and manufacture of certain types of products containing plastic microbeads.

The regulations will come into effect in early June 2018, six months after notification in the NZ Gazette which will happen later this week. The regulations will be published in the NZ Gazette.



What products are affected?

The regulations prohibit, under section 23 of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, the sale and manufacture of wash-off products that contain plastic microbeads for the purposes of exfoliation, cleaning, abrasive cleaning or visual appearance of the product.

The intent is to capture two types of microbead-containing products.
•Wash-off cosmetics such as facial and body exfoliants, toothpastes and heavy-duty hand cleansers
•Abrasive cleaning products, including household, car or industrial cleaning products.



Reason for the ban

The reason for the ban is to prevent plastic microbeads, which are non-biodegradable, entering our marine environment. They can harm both marine life and life higher on the food chain including humans.

The decision follows public consultation earlier this year. A total of 16,223 submissions were received. All the submissions either supported the proposed ban or supported it in part. None were opposed.

Summary of submissions



Find out more

Cabinet paper: Prohibiting the sale and manufacture of wash-off products containing plastic microbeads

Regulatory Impact Statement: Wash-off products containing microbeads