Environment Minister Nick Smith’s announcement of a ban on microbeads is good news and one the industry is fully behind, Seafood New Zealand Chief Executive Tim Pankhurst said.
“These small plastic particles, which do not biodegrade are a well-known hazard to the environment,” Pankhurst said.
The microbeads are used as exfoliants but can be replaced by other less damaging products.
“Research has shown that fish may eat the particles, rather than natural food sources, and they either die of starvation or their growth is stunted before they reach maturity.
“The minute beads are a hazard and are causing needless damage to New Zealand’s waterways and seas.
“The ban is effective July 2018 but it would preferable for that to be brought forward.”