Palau introduce sunscreen ban after chemicals are found to harm coral reefs
UNESCO heritage site, Palau, located in the western Pacific Ocean, is made up of hundreds of islands surrounded by a lagoon. They have tread new territory over the years with regards to their ‘eco-pledge’ and, now, they have launched yet another environmentally friendly pledge by banning sunscreens believed to be toxic to coral reefs.
Sunscreens can contain chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate which researchers have found to be harmful to the coral. The ban has become effective as of 1 January, in which sunscreen with certain chemicals in will not be manufactured, sold or imported into the country. If tourist bring in any sunscreens that are deemed to be against the new law they will be fined $1000 US per violations.
Visitors to the tiny nation of Palau were being asked to sign a ‘promise’ to respect the environment in a bid to bring a halt to the ecological damage caused by the increased numbers of tourists back in 2017.
In order to gain access, tourists will now have to sign a stamp on their passports to ensure that they promise to “tread lightly, act kindly and explore mindfully.”