Can a Sunscreen Save The Ocean?

Posted June 2012 by Avasol™

Can a Sunscreen Save The Ocean?

Plastic Plague
The amount of buoyant plastics in U.S. municipal solid waste has increased 24% between 1993 and 2008 and totaled 14 million tons in 2008.

Plastic can harbor bacteria and microbes that don't belong at the ocean's surface. It can cause intestinal and liver damage to fish and other organisms that ingest it. Marine birds and mammals mistake it for food and then suffocate or starve on it. People then eat fish and animals which have fed upon this toxic plastic and also absorb these elements.

Seas naturally degrade plastics and turn them into microscopic particles. This particulate matter attracts high levels of toxic molecules such as PCBs, which then litter the water or settle onto the ocean floor--destroying its delicate balance. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an area in the Pacific Ocean twice the size of Hawaii that consists of particulate plastic debris. In fact, there are five patches of this type across the globe, affecting at least 267 species worldwide.

Plastic sunscreen containers add to this garbage dump when they are swept out to sea by forgetful sunbathers or thrown in landfills at the end of their useful lives.

But What About Biodegradable Plastics?
A new anaylsis shows that biodegradable plastics, especially those that are quick to degrade, contribute to global warming by releasing methane, a greenhouse gas. While the validity of these plastics and whether they truly are better for the environment has always been uncertain, this study shows that these bits and bobs might be more harmful to the environment than we think. And they still biodegrade into plastic particulate, releasing toxins into the environment and causing injury and death to wildlife.

Simple efforts to choose reusable items will make a significant difference, especially when the disposable option emits something as dangerous as methane.

And What About "Reef Safe" Sunscreens?
Coral reefs are some of the most diverse and productive ecosystems in the world. They are directly responsible for the sustenance of half a billion people and a large part of marine life.

Over the last two decades coral bleaching, which occurs when the symbiotic zooxanthellae are compromised and cause a virus inherent in the coral to attack and kill it, has increased dramatically.

One reason for this is sunscreen.

Even at very low doses, the toxic ingredients in sunscreen were found to kill coral quickly and completely. It is estimated that between 16,000 and 25,000 tons of sunscreens are used in tropical countries and at least 25% of that is leached off during swimming and bathing.

Many companies tout their sunscreens as "reef safe" but then package their product in cheap plastic containers that contribute to reef destruction through the buildup of microplastics in the marine environment. Shame!

Choose Avasol™. Choose Truth.

At Avasol, not only are our products of the highest possible caliber with NO nanoparticles and NO toxic ingredients, but we package them responsibly. Our stick sunscreen is packaged in not just biodegradable, but compostable recycled paper [100% paperboard, 90% recycled materials with 75% post-consumer recycled materials] and our lotion form is packaged in a metal, refillable bottle for years of happy reuse. We are the real deal. We are the whole truth.

Clearly, responsible corporate behavior could solve most of today's social and environmental problems. At Avasol, we strive to be the leader in developing a new, conscientious corporate model.

  • We are purpose driven.
  • We believe that it is possible to provide products that are safe, effective, natural, affordable and sustainable.
  • We believe that it is possible to make significant positive impacts [social, environmental and economic] throughout the production, packaging, distribution and use of our products.

Use Avasol™. It Just Works.  

Tags: sunscreen plastic pollution

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