Microbeads mostly eliminated from NZ products

22 July 2016

Microbeads in personal care products have now been almost totally eliminated from personal care product ranges in New Zealand, says Chief Executive Katherine Rich.

NewstalkZB approached FGC for comment recently after Greenpeace called for the Government to ban the tiny plastic particles, which used to be found in many personal care products such as toothpaste, face wash and shower scrubs.

Greenpeace said the beads could cause serious health problems in marine life, getting into the fish food cycle.

Katherine Rich said in New Zealand this was not a current issue as FGC member companies had either already eliminated them from their products or would have by next year.

She said she was surprised Greenpeace was not aware of progress already made in New Zealand but said this often happens when Greenpeace's global fundraising campaigns are rolled out here from the Northern Hemisphere.

“FGC outlined this work in a letter to the Ministry for the Environment in May. The very clear message we are getting from our members, as well as others in the industry, is that microbeads have either gone or are going, so calls for any sort of expensive regulation is a waste of time. 

“To spend time designing new laws to capture a few remaining fringe products is poor regulatory practice, expensive and unnecessary.”