Seafood New Zealand says the industry is delighted that the Government has decided to bring forward the ban on microbeads.

Associate Environment Minister, Scott Simpson announced today that the ban will take effect six months after World Trade Organisation notification, which means microbeads will be banned in New Zealand by May 2018.

Microbeads are used as exfoliants in make-up and other beauty products, do not biodegrade, and are a hazard to the environment.

Seafood New Zealand chief executive, Tim Pankhurst said microbeads’ impact on oceans and marine life is well known.

“Research tells us that fish eat the tiny particles, rather than their normal food sources, and often die of starvation – or do not mature.”

The seafood industry also welcomed the decision to widen the scope of the ban from just beauty products to all car, cleaning and household products using microbeads.

“The sooner these hazards are replaced with safer alternatives the better and we applaud the government for expediting the ban,” said Pankhurst.