The Palau Archipelago has been gaining popularity among divers for some years. Because of this new strong tourist presence, the authorities of the archipelago are worried about the health of the marine environment.
A fine if you use sunscreen
Corals are very fragile and can be damaged by many things. The chemicals in sunscreen are very harmful to corals, even at very small doses. Therefore the government made a radical decision: from January 2020, the use of sunscreen will be banned. From that date onward, any person reselling or importing these products will be fined 1000 dollars.
Hawaii has even more specifications than the Palau archipelago on the same ban, for similar reasons. Thus, from 2021, only environmentally-friendly sunscreens will be allowed. Of the chemicals in sunscreen, only a few are dangerous for the environment: benzophenone-3, ultraviolet filter, and Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamaten filtering UV-B.
Using environmentally-friendly sunscreens is not limited to these areas however. The list is long, and this kind of sunscreen is very easy to find.