Microbeads Banned in Cosmetic, Personal Care and Household Products in New Zealand

New Zealand’s ban on the use of microbeads in cosmetic, personal care and household products came into effect on June 7, 2018.
( | Press Release | 2018-07-05 11:56:41 )
New Zealand has put into effect its ban on the use of microbeads in cosmetic, personal care and household products. The Waste Minimization (Microbeads) Regulations 2017 were published on December 4, 2017 and came into effect on June 7, 2018.

Following the ban, microbeads can no longer be used in products that:

• Exfoliate all or part of a person’s body – e.g. ‘rinse-off’ face, hand and body cleansers, scrubs and exfoliators
• Clean all or part of a person’s body – e.g. toothpastes
• Abrasively clean any area, surface, or thing – e.g. cleaning products for the home, car or industry
• Use the microbeads to alter the visual appearance of the product – e.g. glitter bubble bath

Microbeads are defined within the regulation as: water-insoluble plastic particles that are less than 5mm in width.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has listed products that are exempt from the regulation. These include:

• Personal hygiene products containing natural particles – e.g. ground nutshells, pumice or other biodegradable materials
• Products intended for medical use, as defined under New Zealand law
• Goods that are produced in, or imported into Australia and are lawfully sold in Australia (these goods are recognized under a trade agreement between New Zealand and Australia, the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997)
• Microbeads, including glitter, in wipe-off products, such as cosmetic makeup
• Microbeads, including glitter, sold as a craft material

Stakeholders are advised to now check their cosmetic, personal care and household products are compliant with the latest requirements under New Zealand law.

SGS Cosmetics & Personal Care Testing Services
SGS provides testing, inspection, auditing and consulting services to manufacturers, distributors and importers to ensure a high level of product quality in every area. A global network of state of the art laboratories offer custom-made solutions for chemical, biophysical, microbiological, stability and biological aspects. Learn more about SGS’s Cosmetics & Personal Care Testing Services. (

SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full Taiwan Bans Barium Salts and Tightens Cadmium Content Restrictions in Cosmetic Products SafeGuardS. []

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For further information contact:

Queenie TSE
Cosmetics, Personal Care and Household (CPCH)
Senior Technical Service Executive
Tel: +852 2765 3672 (ext 1672)

About SGS
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories around the world.

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Ben Christie

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