My marketing team doesn’t necessarily like the word “biodegradable” because most people don’t get why it’s so important.
Reef-safe and ocean-friendly are much more easily understood. But biodegradable is a critical component of any reef-safe product, whether it’s shampoo, sunscreen or body lotion.
Surfactants are not typically captured in wastewater treatment plants. Best-case scenario—they biodegrade quickly so that concentration rates don’t become an issue. Worst-case scenario takes me back to why I originally started this company—seeing a sunscreen slick come off a group of snorkelers, and then watching people on the deck of our live-aboard wash their hair with fragrant suds streaming into the water directly over a pristine coral reef.
Any compound that isn’t readily biodegradable in real-world situations—not just highly aerobic lagoons at a wastewater treatment facility—is likely to accumulate faster. That means it will show up in higher and higher concentrations either in water, potentially killing fish, or in the case of chemicals like oxybenzone, in fish and coral.
Founder and CEO, Stream2Sea