Microbeads (Prohibition) Act 2019

Publication Date:January 01, 2019
 
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Microbeads (Prohibition) Act 2019

2019 52

An Act to provide for the prohibition on the manufacture or placing on the market of certain products containing microbeads; to impose restrictions in relation to the disposal of substances containing microbeads; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

[26 December 2019]

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S-1 Interpretation

1 Interpretation

1. In this Act—

“Act of 1992” means the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992;

“Agency” means the Environmental Protection Agency established by the Act of 1992;

“authorised person” means—

(a) an authorised person appointed under the Act of 1992, or

(b) an officer of customs within the meaning of the Customs Act 2015;

“body surface” means the skin, mucous membrane, hair, nails, teeth or gums of a person;

“cleaning product” means any substance (including any detergent, fabric softener, conditioner, bleaching agent or solvent) that is intended to be used at any stage during—

(a) the cleaning of any surface, article or material, or

(b) the preparation for cleaning of any surface, article or material;

“cosmetic product” means any substance or combination of substances produced for the purpose of cleaning, protecting or maintaining a body surface or changing the appearance or improving the condition of a body surface;

“microbead” means a solid plastic particle that is—

(a) not water soluble,

(b) not more than 5 millimetres at its widest point, and

(c) not less than one nanometre at its narrowest point;

“Minister” means the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government;

“place on the market” means—

(a) sell,

(b) offer or expose for sale,

(c) invite the making by a person of an offer to purchase,

(d) distribute free of charge,

(e) import,

(f) export, or

(g) supply for any of those purposes (whether or not for profit);

“plastic” means a synthetic polymer that—

(a) can be moulded, extruded or physically manipulated into different shapes, and

(b) that retains its final manufactured shape when used for the purpose for which it was manufactured;

“record” includes, in addition to a record in writing—

(a) a plan, chart, map, drawing, diagram or pictorial or graphic image,

(b) a disc, tape, soundtrack or other device in which information, sounds or signals are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other instrument) of being reproduced in legible or audible form,

(c) a film, tape or other device in which visual images are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other instrument) of being reproduced in visual form, and

(d) a photograph.

S-2 Prohibition

2 Prohibition

(1) A person shall not manufacture or place on the market a cosmetic product that—

(a)

is water soluble, and

(b)

contains microbeads in excess of the permitted concentration.

(2) A person shall not manufacture or place on the market a cleaning product that—

(a)

is water soluble, and

(b)

contains microbeads in excess of the permitted concentration.

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence.

(4) It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence consisting of a contravention of subsection (1) or (2) for the defendant to show that he or she took all measures reasonably necessary to prevent such contravention.

(5) In this section “permitted concentration” means, in relation to a cosmetic product or cleaning product containing microbeads, a concentration of microbeads that does not result in the aggregate weight of the microbeads in the product exceeding 0.01 per cent of the weight of the product.

S-3 Exemption

3 Exemption

(1) Section 2 shall not apply to—

(a)

a medicinal product (within the meaning of the Irish Medicines Board Act 1995) the manufacture or placing on the market of which is not prohibited under an enactment other than this Act,

(b)

any product the purpose of which is to protect the skin from the effects of ultra violet radiation,

(c)

the supply of a product to—

(i) a relevant provider within the meaning of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012, or

(ii) an approved body,

for the purpose of the performance by it of its functions,

(d)

products in transit through the State from a place outside the State to another place outside the State, or

(e)

a product to which regulations undersubsection (3) apply.

(2) The Agency may approve a body (in this section referred to as an “approved body”) in writing for the purposes of this section if it is satisfied that it is a function of the body to engage in scientific research or carry out scientific examinations of substances.

(3) The Minister may make regulations exempting any product or class of product essential to the carrying out of a specified industrial cleaning process from the application of this Act if he or she is satisfied that—

(a)

that process would not be capable of being effected without such product, and

(b)

there is no effective cleaning method that could be employed as an alternative to that process.

(4) Regulations under this section shall specify—

(a)

the product or class of product to which the exemption under the regulations shall apply, and

(b)

the industrial cleaning process for which that substance is required.

(5) Regulations under this section may specify conditions in relation to—

(a)

the use of a product to which an exemption under the regulations applies, or

(b)

the storage and disposal of such product.

(6) Every regulation made by the Minister under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the regulation is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the regulation is laid before it, the regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

S-4 Disposal of microbeads

4 Disposal of microbeads

(1) A person shall not dispose, or cause the disposal, of a substance containing microbeads in—

(a)

the maritime area or the inland waters of the State,

(b)

any drain, service connection or waste water works,

(c)

any domestic waste water treatment system, or

(d)

on the high seas from an Irish ship.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this section for the defendant to show that he or she took all measures reasonably necessary to prevent a contravention of subsection (1).

(4) In this section—

“Act of 2007” means the Water Services Act 2007;

“domestic waste water treatment system” has the meaning assigned to it by Part 4A (inserted by section 4 of the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012) of the Act of 2007;

“drain”, “groundwater”, “service connection” and “waste water works” have the meanings assigned to them by the Act of 2007;

“inland waters” means all inland or internal waters of the State (whether or not artificially created) and includes all rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, aquifers, canals, reservoirs and groundwater;

“maritime area” has the meaning assigned to it by Part 5 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018.

S-5 Powers of authorised persons

5 Powers of authorised persons

(1) For the purposes of this Act, an authorised person may—

(a)

subject tosubsection (2), enter (at all reasonable times and, if necessary, by the use of reasonable force) and inspect any premises at which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that—

(i)

any trade, business or activity connected with the manufacture, placing on the market, disposal, storage, packaging or labelling of products containing microbeads is being or has been carried on, or

(ii)

books, records or other documents (including documents stored in non-legible form) relating to such trade, business or activity are kept,

(b)

at such premises inspect and take copies of—

(i)

any books, records, other documents (including documents stored in non-legible form) or extracts therefrom, or

(ii)

labels or packaging relating to products containing microbeads,

that he or she finds in the course of his or her inspection,

(c)

remove any such books, records, documents, labels or packaging from such premises and retain them for such period as he or she reasonably considers to be necessary for the purposes of his or her functions under this Act,

(d)

conduct, or cause to be conducted, such examinations and inspections of—

(i)

any products containing microbeads,

(ii)

packaging of such products,

(iii)

any article or substance used in connection with the manufacture, labelling, packaging or storage of such products, or

(iv)

any equipment, machinery or plant,

found at the premises as he or she reasonably considers to be necessary for the purposes of his or her functions under this Act,

(e)

require any person at the premises, the owner or person in charge of the premises or any person employed therein to—

(i)

give to the authorised person such assistance and information, and

(ii)

produce to the authorised person—

(I)

such labels or packaging relating to products containing microbeads, and

(II)

books, documents or other records (and in the case of documents or records stored in non-legible form, a legible reproduction thereof),

that are in that person’s possession or procurement, as the authorised person may reasonably require for the purposes of his or her functions under this Act,

(f)

require any person at the premises (including the owner, person in charge of the premises and any person employed therein) to answer such questions as the authorised person may ask relative to any matter in connection with compliance with this Act,

(g)

for the purposes of analysis and examination, take samples of—

(i)

any substance or product—

(I)

containing microbeads, or

(II)

that he or she has reasonable grounds for believing contains microbeads,

(ii)

packaging relating to any such substance or product, or

(iii)

any...

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