Seafood New Zealand backs government ban on microbeads

Published on
January 17, 2017

Seafood New Zealand Chief Executive Tim Pankhurst said his organization, which represents the nationals eafood industry, stands behind a national ban on microbeads, the plastic pellets used as exfoliants in beauty products.

New Zealand Environment Minister Nick Smith made the announcement of the microbead ban this week. Both Smith and Pankhurst said cited the negative impact microbeads have on oceans and marine life in supporting the ban.

“These small plastic particles, which do not biodegrade are a well-known hazard to the environment,” Pankhurst said.

The ban on microbeads “is good news and one the industry is fully behind,” Pankhurst said.

The ban goes into effect July 2018 but Pankhurst said he would prefer if the date was moved forward, arguing that microbeads 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,” Pankhurst said. “The minute beads are a hazard and are causing needless damage to New Zealand’s waterways and seas.”

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