Banning the sale and manufacture of certain products containing plastic microbeads

The Government has decided on the policies that will form regulations to ban the sale and manufacture of certain types of products containing plastic microbeads. This page has information on the ban.

About 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

Products that will be prohibited

The regulations will prohibit the manufacture and sale of products containing plastic microbeads that are designed to be washed down the drain. These products are personal care products such as facial and body exfoliating cleansers, and cleaning products such as household or car cleaning products. The ban will be implemented under section 23 of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.

When the regulations come into force

We will work with the Parliamentary Counsel Office to draft the regulations. Once Cabinet has approved the regulations, they will be publicly notified in the New Zealand Gazette and will come into force six months later (30 May 2018 at the earliest). We will update the timeframe on this page if it changes.

Find out more

Minister's media release on the Beehive website

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

Regulatory Impact Statement: Wash-off products containing microbeads