On Aug. 4, 2021, the BBC reported Thailand banned sunscreens containing chemicals that can cause damage to coral from all of its marine national parks.
Concerns are growing that lotions used for sun protection are harming slow-growing corals. The Thai Department of Conservation said four ingredients commonly found in sun creams were shown to destroy coral larvae, obstruct coral reproduction and cause reef bleaching.
The banned sunscreen lotions are those containing oxybenzone, octinoxate, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor or butylparaben. Similar bans have been introduced by the Pacific Island of Palau and the United States state of Hawaii.
This is reportedly the latest attempt by the Thai government to protect its coral from the tourism industry. Maya Bay on the island of Phi Phi Leh, made famous by its appearance in the film The Beach, has been closed since 2018 after most of its coral was destroyed.
It is reported that anyone who ignores this ban can be fined up to 100,000 baht. However, officials have not said how they plan to enforce the new rule.