On May 1, Hawaii became the first state to pass a bill that banned the sale of chemical sunscreen (suncreen containing chemicals believed to harm coral reefs). This legislation prohibits the distribution of sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate that scientists have found contributes to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean. An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen is believed to be deposited in oceans annually with the greatest damage found in popular reef areas in Hawaii and the Caribbean. The Hawaii sunscreen bill now awaits the signature of the governor. The new rules will go into effect Jan. 1, 2021. Sunscreen isn’t the only enemy of healthy reefs; other polluters include ocean warming, agricultural runoff and sewage dumping. But banning harmful chemicals, say environmental advocates, is one variable swimmers can control.
If you’re planning any winter traveling, stop in and shop some of our coral reef safe environment friendly products!