Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Ban on plastic microbeads proposed

Hon Dr Nick Smith

Minister for the Environment


16 January 2017
Ban on plastic microbeads proposed

The Government is proposing to ban personal care products containing plastic microbeads, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“We are proposing a ban on the sale and manufacture of personal care products in New Zealand containing microbeads because of the long-term risk they pose to our aquatic and marine environments,” Dr Smith said.

“The problem with plastic microbeads is that they are too small to retrieve or recycle, they do not biodegrade, and that they are mistaken by marine life as food causing long-term damage to aquatic animals like fish and mussels. The use of plastic microbeads in personal care products like facial cleansers and toothpaste makes no sense when there are biodegradable alternatives like apricot kernels and ground nuts products that achieve the same results.”

There are about 100 varieties of personal care products in New Zealand containing plastic microbeads with the vast bulk imported. These include products such as deodorant, shampoo, hair conditioner, shower gel, lipstick, hair colouring, shaving cream, sunscreen, insect repellent, anti-wrinkle cream, moisturisers, hair spray, facial masks, baby care products, eyeshadow and mascara. Globally it is estimated that there is over 10,000 tonnes a year of plastic microbeads used. Some manufacturers have already agreed to phase out plastic microbead ingredients because of environmental concerns.



“This initiative is part of a global push to reduce the amount of plastic culminating in the oceans, with estimates indicating there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. The issue was discussed and agreed to as a priority at the OECD in September and the Trans-Tasman Environment Ministers meeting in November last year. The proposed New Zealand ban parallels similar initiatives being taken in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union and Australia to ban or phase out the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products.

“New Zealand is a small consumer of plastic microbead products by international comparison but this initiative is important for maintaining New Zealand’s good name in marine stewardship. We have responsibility for one of the largest areas of ocean, we have one of the best fishery management systems, we are leading with conservation measures like the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area and this initiative on microbeads will enhance our clean, green reputation.”

The consultation document, Managing microbeads in personal care products, is open for consultation from today until the 28 February 2017. The proposed ban under the Waste Minimisation Act is to take effect on 1 July 2018.


http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1701/1_Managing_microbeads_in_personal_care_products.pdf

http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1701/2_Microbeads_QAs.pdf


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pike River: Families Welcome Opening Of Drift

The group representing 29 of the Pike River Families - the Pike River Family Reference Group - has welcomed the unsealing of the mine at a private family event this morning...

“Watching those doors open and seeing the light enter that dark tunnel for the first time in years was incredibly emotional. We’ve known we are going back in for a year now, today it feels like it.

“This is the start of a journey that will end with truth and justice.” More>>

 

Shaw First Reading Speech: Climate Change Response Bill

Madam Speaker, today we begin the task of amending the Climate Change Response Act [2002], to fulfil the commitment that we have made, as a country, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. More>>

ALSO:

Report Released: Harmful Behaviour In Parliamentary Workplace

Rt Hon Trevor Mallard today released a report containing the findings and recommendations of the independent external review into harmful behaviour within the parliamentary workplace. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: More Unsold Kiwibuild Houses Bought By Govt

The Crown underwrite for unsold Kiwibuild homes has been triggered for a second time. Now lack of sales in Mike Greer's development in Canterbury and Auckland means the government has had to buy back seven more homes. More>>

ALSO:

camouflageGordon Campbell: Why We Shouldn’t Genuflect To Security

Reportedly most (and possibly all) of the Royal Commission investigation into the Christchurch mosque shootings will be closed to the general public and to the media… More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Pike, Bullying, Carbon...

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began her post-cabinet press conference by announcing that the zero carbon bill would have its first reading the Parliament this week. More>>

Budget Announcements: Family And Sexual Violence Response

The family and sexual violence package, which sits across eight portfolios, is the result of the first ever joint Budget bid from multiple government departments. More>>

ALSO:

Deals, Sanctions, Consultation: National's Foreign Policy Plan

“National will prioritise our relationship with the United States.. National will also further the strong and dynamic economic relationship with China." More>>

ALSO:

Taking Children Into State Care: Minister For Children On The Nation

Simon Shepherd: ... So, we’ve seen this jump in the number of newborn Maori babies being taken from their parents in the last three years. Is that because it’s a directive from Oranga Tamariki to get involved earlier? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels