MarineSafe is an organization that aims to reduce the number of toxic chemicals and plastics finding their way into the ocean through replacement, management and user engagement. It works with scientific, legal, economic and policy experts to manage individual projects and aspects of its work and to provide advice and expertise to organisations, to governments, and to others.
Synchronicity Earth supported MarineSafe in 2016, holding a workshop in partnership with the International Program on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), the Zoological Society of London, the IUCN, and the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) to examine the effects of pollution from personal care products and to develop a plan of action to tackle this threat.
The workshop determined that these products pose a significant threat to marine environments. One of the chemicals known to cause severe damage is Oxybenzone, which is found in suncream, lipstick, mascara and shampoo. Even at extremely low concentrations, oxybenzone has been shown to cause deformity and death of multiple coral species. There are also significant concerns about the effect of oxybenzone on human health.
These results were shared at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Hawaii in June 2016. From this, MarineSafe have started work on a certification mark to identify products that are safe to use, as well as an App that will help consumers to understand what ingredients to look our for on labels. MarineSafe are also working to promote the establishment of “MarineSafe Zones” in coastal areas where visitors are asked to avoid the use of marine-toxic products and single-use plastic.