The government is planning to ban microbeads in personal care products.
Microbeads, are tiny plastic beads used in personal hygiene and body care products, including toothpaste, soap and body wash.
The beads are non-biodegradable and when washed away, they can enter ocean food chains and often end up in the stomachs of fish and other animals.
Environment Minister Nick Smith said similar bans had already been proposed in other countries such as United States and Canada.
“The government looks at the estimates where by 2050 there will be more plastics in the ocean than there is fish.
“This is part of a longer term, global plan to take better care of the marine environment.”
Other biodegradable alternatives, like apricot kernels and ground nuts products, achieved the same results, he said.
The proposed ban would take effect from July next year.