Iconic Australian sunscreen and tanning lotion brand ‘Bondi Sands’ may be the safer option for your skin in the sun, but a recent class action brought in the US against the brand shows that it may be at a cost to the environment.

The class action has brought claims that the sunscreens are harmful to the environment despite its claims to be ‘reef friendly.’ The claim has been filed in a US District Court of California, alleging that Bondi Sands has ‘reaped millions of dollars through its fraudulent scheme based on a calculated business decision that puts profits over people and the environment.’ The company has defended its sunscreens in a statement saying that their sunscreen products are compliant with the TGA in Australia, which are the strongest SPF guidelines in the world.

The Bondi Sands website promotes its products as ‘formulated to be reef-friendly to protect oceans and waterways.’ However, the class action alleges that the products include harmful ingredients including avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate and octocrylene which can endanger coral reefs and marine life. Last year, two of those chemicals were banned from being used in sunscreens in the US state of Hawaii on the grounds that they are harmful to coral reefs and cause coral bleaching. Following this action in the US it will be interesting to see if any similar actions will be brought in Australia under the Australian Consumer Law.

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