Maui Senators long-time support of sunscreen ban now a reality

Maui Senators J. Kalani English (Dist. 7 – Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i and Kaho‘olawe), Rosalyn H. Baker (Dist. 6 – South and West Maui) and Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran (Dist. 5 – Central Maui) stood proud, today, as Governor David Ige signed Senate Bill 2571. The bill, now Act 104, bans the sale of products containing oxybenzone or octinoxate in order to preserve marine ecosystems.

For several years Maui legislators, including Representative Lynn DeCoite, have introduced measures limiting or banning the use of the chemicals in products like sunscreen.

“Science has proven that these chemicals are destroying our reefs. It is about time that we ban these chemicals. Hawai‘i is a leader in the protection of our environment,” said Sen. Baker.

“Coral reefs are the bedrock of our islands, they hold cultural significance and in the rural districts I represent, the reef system and ocean continues to be a source of life and sustenance,” said Sen. English. “I am happy that our hard work became law today.”

“Because Hawai‘i is a culmination of island people who loves the ocean’s bounty, fishing continues to be a means of subsistence no matter the district we represent,” said Sen. Keith-Agaran.

The ban will go into effect on January 1, 2021 – allowing time for the State of Hawai‘i to educate the broader public and for companies to change the formula of their products.