Home Resources Legal Updates March 2020

Microbeads Act 2019

05 March 2020

Amends: New
Comes into force: 20th February 2020
Jurisdiction: ROI

This Act provides for the prohibition on the manufacture or placing on the market of certain products containing microbeads. Restrictions are also imposed for disposing of substances containing microbeads.

Prohibition of microbeads
No one can manufacture or place on the market a cosmetic product or cleaning product that is water soluble and contains microbeads in excess of 0.01% of the products weight.

Knowingly manufacturing or place on the market of microbeads is an offence.

Disposal of microbeads
A person must not dispose, or cause the disposal, of a substance containing microbeads in the following areas:

  • The maritime area or the inland waters of the State;

  • Any drain, service connection or wastewater works;

  • Any domestic wastewater treatment system; or

  • On the high seas from an Irish ship.

Powers for authorised persons

Commercial properties
Authorised persons have a range of powers in order to ensure organisations are complying with this act if they suspect that they are placing on the market or manufacturing microbeads.

An inspector cannot enter a dwelling (i.e. a place of residency) unless they have consent from the occupier or a warrant is issued to enter the dwelling.

If there are reasonable grounds for believing that a dwelling is connected with the manufacture, placing on the market, disposal, storage, packaging or labelling of products containing microbeads, or information relating to business activity is kept, then inspectors are able to enter and inspect the dwelling and perform the functions of an authorised person listed above

Anyone who conducts the following is guilty of an offence:

  • Obstructs or interferes with an authorised person or a member of the Garda Síochána (the Irish police force).

  • Fails to comply with the requirement of an authorised person or a member of the Garda Síochána.

  • Fails or refuses to comply with a direction of an authorised person or member of the Garda Síochána.

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