New Zealand acknowledged the notification of the World Trade Organisation, in which WTO insists on banning the microbeads. These tiny plastic beads will be fully banned in New Zealand by May 2018, sooner than expected.
Microbeads are not too good for the skin and health, concluded the experts. By May 2018, they will be banned both the sale and manufacture of wash-off products, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson said. About 100 personal care products contain the microbeads. Globally, people use about 10,000 tonnes a year of plastic tiny beads, which are usually used for exfoliation or polishing.
The ban will take effect six months after World Trade Organisation notification, which will take place when the regulations are gazetted in November. Microbeads will be fully banned in New Zealand by May 2018.
Retailers and manufacturers’ reaction on the ban
In New Zealand, the biggest retailers have already taken steps to take microbeads off shop shelves. New World, Pak’n Save and Four Square stores stopped selling all microbead products on July 1. Foodstuffs and Countdown had already removed the beads from their own brand products.
According to the environment minister Nick Smith, the ban would not come into force until July next year but it does in May – sooner than expected.
There are concerns about microbeads’ impact on the marine ecosystem, because they get through filtration systems and are ingested by marine life.