July and August represent the months that are synonymous with summer holidays for Italians, with higher temperatures and more intense UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays. Fortunately, in recent years, there has been a greater awareness of the importance of protecting our skin when exposed to the sun. Irrespective of the choice of destination, be it seas, lakes, mountains or countryside, sunscreen has now become an essential element in our luggage.
However, just as we exercise caution in everything we do, even getting a tan, we must consider the consequences of our choices for our planet. Therefore, Studio Fieschi & Associates, a leading company in environmental impact assessment and sustainable consulting, has gathered Some tips for getting a more responsible and eco-friendly tan,
Effects of sunscreen on the marine environment: a critical analysis
It is not possible to easily measure the impact of solar energy on the environment. However, few laboratory studies have been conducted on the effects some of the active ingredients in these products may have on marine ecosystems, and coral reefs in particular.
In recent years the attention of researchers has been particularly focused on oxybenzone and octinoxate which will induce the phenomenon of coral bleaching Promoting viral infections in the algae with which these organisms live in symbiosis, which is not only the cause of the color of corals but above all one of their sources of nutrition. This incidence may also be increased due to the nano-ingredients present in some mineral sunscreens.
That’s why we should always pay attention to the composition of the products we buy, if we read among the ingredients octocrylene, oxybenzone, benzophenone, butylparaben or camphor (3-benzylidene camphor, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor). Be aware that these can be harmful substances to marine life,
Environmental Certificate and Ethical Testing
Many solar manufacturers have obtained environmental certifications for their processes and products. For example, the Ecosan Pass brand certifies that due to the absence of harmful chemical filters, sunscreen has no negative impact on the environment, in particular on coral reefs. In Italy, the CIEA and AIAB labels guarantee that sunscreens are skin- and environment-friendly, as they contain only physical filters. It’s also important to pay attention to how sunscreens are tested: Labels like Ecocert, Cruelty Free, and the Vegan Society ensure that no harmful testing is done on animals.
How to reduce the environmental impact of solar power?
And The easy way to reduce the environmental impact of solar energy is not to waste it, We often find ourselves with half-full bottles at the end of summer and wondering whether to keep them for next summer without putting our health at risk. Altroconsumo has tested the efficacy of various sunscreens according to official ISO standards, one year after opening the package and exposing them to high temperatures and sunlight. All products have maintained the same safety factor as indicated on the packaging. However, it is important to store them correctly to ensure their integrity and effectiveness over time. Here are some tips for storing sunscreen:
- keep bottles tightly closed: Be sure to tightly close the cap or lid of the bottle after each use to avoid oxidation and spoilage of the product.
- store them in a cool, dry place: Avoid exposing the sunscreen to direct sunlight or high temperatures. Ideally, keep them in a cabinet or drawer in the bathroom.
- check expiry date: Before using sunscreen stored from last year, check the expiration date on the package. If it’s expired, you shouldn’t use it.
- Note any product changes: If the sunscreen has changed its consistency, color or smell, it could be a sign of spoilage. In this case, it is advised not to use it.
Guidelines for proper disposal of packaging
And where should we throw the packaging when we’ve finished using them? From 1 January 2023, an environmental labeling obligation comes into force for all packaging, including clear indications for correct disposal at the end of its life. Generally, sunscreens are contained in bottles or tubes that should be disposed of in a plastic collection; On the other hand, if it is a metal spray can, it should be placed in plastic together with the can and cap, but it is still necessary to inquire about local collection methods which sometimes require different materials to be moved together. provide facilities. , A junker app can help: Reading barcodes helps us understand how to differentiate our packaging in different municipalities.
Finally, note: If the product is not used and has signs of flammable and hazardous material, it should be taken to municipal collection centers as it is hazardous urban waste.