US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Blue Flag International, the eco-label which certifies over 4,000 beaches and marinas around the world, has partnered with Aethic, the skincare company that produces Sôvée sunscreen – world’s only sunscreen to have a patented eco-compatible formula. This is the first sunscreen to be endorsed by Blue Flag International and the use of Sôvée will be promoted among its stakeholders and towards the beaches and marinas which have passed its rigorous quality control tests and received the prestigious award in 2015.

Blue Flag International, through its national Blue Flag organizations, recently released the list of Blue Flag approved beaches and marinas for 2015. All these sites comply with a set of stringent criteria from bathing water quality, environmental management and education, as well as safety and services. One of the objectives is to diminish the proliferation of litter and the amount of chemicals and other substances that end up in the water. Blue Flag beaches which encounter sensitive habitats such as coral reefs must be monitored, and the municipalities, beach and marina operators are closely involved in the Blue Flag process. The ultimate objective is to mitigate all forms of pollution for a safer and more pleasant human experience but also to safeguard essential marine life.

Aethic shares these objectives and was prompted by a 2008 Italian study published in National Geographic by Prof Roberto Danovaro et al. of Marche Polytechnic University to develop a sunscreen that ‘would not.’

Tests with an approved protocol were carried out by the same team to gauge a range of ingredients for their eco-compatibility and reject those ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which harmed marine life.

Left with a limited range of safe ingredients a sunscreen was then formulated and once again subjected to these tests in its final product form. It passed the tests, leaving coral and mussels intact. A patent has since been awarded for that formulation making it the only sunscreen to have this feature and benefit.

“The fact that it is the only sunscreen to have a patented eco-compatible formula means that it completely fits with what we want to achieve in Blue Flag. We need to see more companies like Aethic which work to diminish the harm we do to our planet,” said Sophie Bachet Granados, International Blue Flag Director.

Allard Marx, Aethic CEO agreed. “We simply cannot keep turning a blind eye to the fact that most other sunscreens damage marine life and are estimated to account for 10 percent of all coral damage globally. It has to stop. Having Blue Flag’s support in increasing the number of people who sustain marine life when they use Sôvée is another very significant moment in ‘Blue’ history.”

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