Tourism

Hawaii’s tourism industry is a key proponent of reef-safe sunscreen: Travel Weekly

Hawaii was the first state to ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. In addition, Maui County has banned all non-mineral sunscreens, and the island of Hawaii is currently considering stricter laws. The harm is that chemical sunscreens are washed into the ocean, threatening marine life and contributing to coral bleaching.

Representatives of the tourism industry, including many hotels and tour operators on the islands, have established themselves as important environmentalists and in many cases are the first to educate visitors about how changing sunscreen can benefit marine ecosystems.

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“Did you know that coral reefs are the largest living thing on Earth? Did you know that Hawaii contains 80% of all coral reefs in the entire United States?” Nate Brovelli, Aston employee at the Kaanapali Beach whaling resort, says in an informational video. “Well, in Hawaii we try very hard to take care of our land, sea and environment, but we need everyone’s help.”

Since 2017, Aqua-Aston Hospitality, which operates over 40 hotels across the islands, has been raising awareness of the environmental benefits of mineral-based sunscreens through its #ForOurReef campaign. Not only do his hotels provide guests with sunscreen dispensers, but they have installed signage at their facilities.

Others are also taking the initiative. Napili Kai Beach Resort is giving away free samples to guests, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa and Fairmont Kea Lani offer free sunscreen dispensers at their pools and beaches, and Holo Holo Charters stocks reef-safe sunscreen on all of their boat tours.

The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea offers complimentary reef sunscreen by the pools and beach. Photo: Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

The Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea launched a sunscreen replacement campaign this month with a new product, Project Reef Suncare, now offered free to beach and pool guests.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Four Seasons Resort Maui guest launch of Mineral Sunscreen,” said Matt Rumet, founder of Project Reef. “Since we introduced Project Reef in March 2022, we have been working at full speed to ban chemical sunscreens in the US. buy chemical sunscreens and switch to mineral ones.”

All of these actions are important steps that together will help improve ocean health.

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