Ocean Health

As Hawaii, Key West and Palau ban harmful sunscreen ingredients, so many more locations will probably follow.

Coral covers just 0.1% of the ocean bed yet sustains 25% of ocean life. Life which in turn sustains hundreds of millions of people! This is no small thing.

While global warming and the resulting rise in sea temperatures accounts for most of the reef damage, it is estimated that 10% of the damage is attributable to standard sunscreens.

Many resorts hotels which depend on coral reefs to attract guests now also understand the importance of protecting this vital asset and have banned the use of sunscreens that are not bio-degradable.

However bio-degradable is not enough. Many biodegradable sunscreens, although they might dilute and disperse in water, may still contain ingredients that can trigger a fatal virus in live coral which can decimate a reef.

At Aethic we have gone one further than anyone else in substantiating our coral-safe claim. We invested in a unique patented eco-compatible formula of our own, where all the ingredients are proven completely safe for corals, clams and sea urchins – which are among the most delicate and essential sea organisms. If you would like to know more about this, try this page on our site.

This is the formula of Sôvée, the world’s first sunscreen to also be certified Marine Positive.

Part of our sales revenues are ploughed back into The Going Blue Foundation which in turn is active in restoring ocean health with actions like www.corabon.com 

Do you use plastic?

It’s a minefield, packaging! With world’s only proven and patented ecocompatible sunscreen we want to be consistent and use the most appropriate and ecological packaging. Of course!

The challenge is this: sunscreens are all emulsions, meaning a mixture between oily substances and watery ones. As such the receptacle must be impervious or the product will dry out!!!

As it happens we first used a material called PLA (poly lactic acid) which is often used for cutlery and other disposable and not only was it pervious but it was also very brittle. The bottles that didn’t dry out, broke – not all of them but enough that we had to write off an entire batch. We thought it was worth the risk but it proved not to be.

The only other options are glass or metal. Glass is very heavy with an increase the aqua-trail of the product in transport (not to say the cost) and is also a very energy intensive material to make. It obviously also prone to breaking… Imagine next to the pool!

Metal is a moral nightmare… many mines are in developing countries and employ virtually enslaved children to work there and the run off from mining is a major threat to marine life. (Just read up about that threat to the barrier reef).

So it has to plastic but after our PLA fiasco we found a material called Green PE which is made from sustainable sugar cane, has a lower carbon footprint than traditional petroleum based plastic yet works very well. So that’s the state of the game right now and the leading edge as we know it. All the clever eco plastics you see on those wonderful videos, dissolve in water so cannot work for us… leaving aside for a minute just how compatible the dissolved material is with marine life.

So Green PE it is – which can be recycled with other plastics.

When we use paper boxes (we are phasing them out) we use is from sustainable paper mills and forests.

The printing inks are water soluble.

The “cellophane” (have to be careful since that is a trade mark) is in fact sustainable and compostable and we were the ones to initiate it.