Responsible TourismTourists urged to save corals by using biodegradable sunscreens at marine parks.

Coral-damaging sunscreens now banned in Thailand

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Thailand is the latest beach destination to ban sunscreens containing chemicals harmful to coral reefs.
Thailand is the latest beach destination to ban sunscreens containing chemicals harmful to coral reefs. Photo Credit: Getty Images/JosuOzkaritz

Thailand has banned the use of sunscreens containing harmful chemicals including oxybenzone, octinoxate, 4MBC and butylparaben in the country's national parks.

The move is an attempt to protect the fragile coral reefs in the marine national parks. According to the National Parks of Thailand, studies have shown that 14,000 tonnes of harmful chemicals are damaging corals each year.

The ban came into effect since 4 August, and violators will be fined up to 100,000 baht.

Tourists and divers are urged to use coral-friendly sunscreens, such as zinc oxide-based products, and wearing hats and long-sleeved swimwear to reduce the need for excessive amounts of sunscreen.

Since the pandemic last year, the sharp decline of tourists in the country has led to natural regeneration of the coral reefs in Thailand's waters.

Besides Thailand, other destinations such as Hawaii and Palau have also banned the use of sunscreens harmful to reefs.

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