Microbead ban overdue

A water industry group says it is thrilled by the government's proposal to ban plastic microbeads in personal care products, but thinks the ban should be enforced immediately.


An extreme close-up of microbeads Photo: MPCA Photos

The beads, which are not biodegradable, are used in the manufacture of products such as facial scrubs and body washes.

They can cause long-term damage to aquatic animals, which mistake them for food.

A consultation document released yesterday is open until the end of February. The proposed ban would take effect from July next year.

Water New Zealand chief executive John Pfahlert said the move was overdue and should be brought into effect more quickly.

"I don't think there's any doubt about the evidence, this form of pollution's been going into our waterways and eventually ending up in the coastal environment."

Mr Pfahlert said it was an excellent move and his organisation would make a submission in favour of the ban, though he would prefer it to take immediate effect.

The non-profit group represents members of the water service industry, including waste and storm water services. RNZ