Hawaii’s Growing Sunscreen Ban

Hawaii is putting up quite a fight to protect its reefs and marine life. Part of their strategy is to keep chemicals out of the water that bleach reefs.

On January 1st of this year, a statewide ban on the sale of certain sunscreens went into effect. The ban targets sunscreens containing the active ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate, which have shown to be very harmful to sea life.

A new bill seeks to add to the list of banned ingredients. HB102 HD1 would amend Section 342D-21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to stop the sale of sunscreens containing avobenzone and octocrylene.

Should the bill pass, the ban on avobenzone and octocrylene would not begin until Jan. 1, 2023.

For a reef-safe alternative, check out mineral sunscreens.

UPDATE: February 17, 2021 - Hawaiian legislators elected to defer the bill until the completion of a National Academy of Sciences study, slated for 2022.