Honolulu (KHON2) – Starting on October 1, 2022, only mineral sunscreens will be allowed in Maui County. The effort has been applauded by Maui Ocean Center and others advocating for the protection of our coral reefs.
The County of Maui passed a bill that enforces banning the sale, distribution and use of non-mineral sunscreens without a prescription.
“Ordinance No. 5306 becomes effective on Oct. 1 and will be enforced by the Department of Environment, Environmental Protection and Sustainability Division. Only mineral sunscreens may be sold, used or distributed in the County of Maui, including the islands of Lanai and Moloka’i,” says Michelle McLinden Nuijen, PhD, Environmental Program Specialist, Environmental Protection & Sustainability.
In response to the new bill that has been passed in Maui County, the Maui Ocean Center is supporting Hawaii’s marine life with mineral sunscreen in gift shops and around the center.
“After significant research, Maui Ocean Center began carrying mineral sunscreen in our shops and dispensers around the center. We are all about the education and protection of Hawaii’s oceans and one way of doing so is the use of approved-sunscreen,” says Tapani Vuori, General Manager, Maui Ocean Center.
While the labels “reef friendly” and “reef safe” are common marketing tools for sunscreen products, Vuori feels these terms are not regulated and can be highly misleading.
Vuori says, “Before purchasing or using sunscreen, read the active ingredients label and choose only mineral sunscreens made with ‘non-nanotized’ zinc oxide or titanium dioxide—natural mineral ingredients.”
To learn more about Maui Ocean Center and the Department of Environmental Protection & Sustainability efforts to protect Maui’s reefs, visitors can do so via their official website.
Maui Ocean Center:
Environmental Protection & Sustainability Division, County of Maui, (DEM)