Key West has taken a big step to help protect the world’s third-largest barrier reef ecosystem. They’re banning sunscreen with coral-harming chemicals. Sunscreen chemicals from swimmers and beach goers rinse off into the sea and contribute to coral bleaching. Hawaii announced last year that they’ll begin banning the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, common ingredients in over 3,500 sunscreens and the ban in Key West is the same. First-time offenders will be issued a warning, second offenses will be met with a fine. Both the Hawaii ban and the one in Key West go into effect on January 1, 2021.
Key West bans sunscreens with harmful chemicals