Hawaii considers ban on environmentally unfriendly sunscreens

Hawaii considers ban on environmentally unfriendly sunscreens
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Hawaii's legislature is considering legislation banning sunscreens that contain harmful chemicals affecting the environment.

"Beginning January 1, 2023, it shall be unlawful to sell, offer for sale, or distribute for sale in the State any sunscreen that contains avobenzone or octocrylene without a prescription issued by a licensed healthcare provider," the bill reads.

The bill passed in Hawaii's state Senate on Tuesday and passed its first reading in the state House on Thursday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

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It will now go to the House committees for Energy and Environmental Protection, Water and Land Consumer Protection and Commerce and Finance.

The ban would add to a previous law that was passed in 2018 and took effect at the beginning of this year, which banned sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate.

“This is great news for our imperiled coral reefs and marine life,” Maxx Phillips, the Hawaii director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement, according to the Star-Advertiser.

These chemicals have shown to be harmful to wildlife and could hurt coral reefs, the newspaper noted.

Hawaii is preparing for tourists to come back to the state after the coronavirus pandemic devastated the travel industry. Projections show that tourist spots in the U.S. might have a long recovery period after the pandemic.