A cross-government effort has seen the successful ban of microbeads.

In welcoming the ban, Minister for the Environment David Parker acknowledged the work of the previous Government and previous minister Nick Smith for initiating the ban.

“We supported the regulations while in opposition and we’re happy to be bringing these regulations into force,” says Mr Parker.

Plastic microbeads are found in personal care products such as facial cleansers, bath scrubs and toothpaste. Too small to be fully captured by waste water treatment systems, microbeads enter the marine environment and cause damage to marine life.

Public consultation on the proposed regulations took place in January 2017 and drew wide public support. Many submitters urged the Government to broaden the scope of the proposed ban to include other products containing microbeads.

In response the regulations has been widened to include all “wash-off” microbead-containing products for exfoliating, cleansing or abrasive cleaning purposes. This includes household, car or other cleaning products as well as personal care products.

National Party Environment Spokesperson Scott Simpson has welcomed the ban.

“The previous Government announced in August that microbeads would be banned early next year and I am pleased to see the new Government stick to that pledge.

The changes align with similar initiatives in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia.

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