New Zealand Bans on Microbeads in Cosmetics Comes into Effect
Following a grace period of six months following the Waste Minimization (Microbeads) Regulations 2017 published, New Zealand is going to officially ban microbeads in cosmetic products.
SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 084/18
New Zealand published its Waste Minimization (Microbeads) Regulations 2017 on December 4, 2017. Following a grace period of six months, the manufacturer and sale of wash-off products that contain microbeads for certain purposes is officially banned from June 7, 2018.
Microbeads, in this regulation, are defined as a water-insoluble plastic particle that is less than 5mm at its widest point. Wash-off products which provide one or more of the following purposes are not allowed to contain microbeads:
- Exfoliation of all or part of a person’s body
- Cleaning of all or part of a person’s body
- Abrasive cleaning of any area, surface, or thing
- Visual appearance of the product
- “Rinse-off” face, hand and body cleansers, scrubs and exfoliators
- Glitter bubble bath
- Abrasive cleaning products for the home, the car and for industrial cleaning
Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) mentions the out-scope products as follows:
- Personal hygiene products containing natural particles, such as ground nutshells, pumice or other biodegradable materials
- Products intended for medical use, as defined  in New Zealand law
- Goods that are produced in, or imported into Australia and are lawfully sold in Australia (these goods are recognized under a trade agreement between New Zealand and Australia, the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 
- Microbeads, including glitter, in wipe-off products, such as cosmetic makeup
- Microbeads, including glitter, sold as a craft material
The EPA in New Zealand recommends that manufacturers, suppliers and retailers arrange the safe disposal of remaining stocks of in-scope products containing microbeads.
Source of Information:
- Waste Minimisation (Microbeads) Regulations 2017 
- New Alerts in NZ EPA website – Microbeads ban: is your product affected? 
For enquiries, please contact:
Consumer and Retail
Cosmetics, Personal Care and Household (CPCH)
Senior Technical Service Executive
t: +852 2765 3672 (ext 1672)
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