UPDATE (January 4, 2020 10:45 A.M. EST): As of January 1, Hawaii's ban on chemical sunscreens is in full effect. Specifically, the ban applies to the sales and distribution of sunscreens made with ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate, that research shows can contribute to the damage to coral reefs when washed off skin and into the water.
According to the New York Times, the ban has been opposed by some makers of chemical sunscreens, who point out that both ingredients banned are FDA-approved and can prevent skin cancer. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of reef-safe sunscreens out there that provide all the same UV protection with physical blockers like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The minerals in a sunscreen must be considered "non-nano" (meaning bigger than 100 nanometers) in order to be considered safe for the ocean.
UPDATE (May 2, 2018 3 P.M. EST): It's official: Hawaii is the first state to pass a bill to ban the sale of sunscreens made with ingredients typically found chemical-based sunscreens.
Senate Bill 2571 passed on May 1, which will prohibit the sale and distribution of sunscreens made with ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate, is currently awaiting the signature of the Hawaii governor. The bill will go into effect January 1, 2021.
UPDATE (April 30 6 P.M. EST): The fight to save the country's coral reefs continues. Last spring, we reported that oxybenzone, a chemical compound found in many non-mineral sunscreens, can cause major damage to coral reefs. To combat said damage, Hawaii senators introduced a bill to the state's Congress that would ultimately ban the sale of sunscreens made with ingredients oxybenzone or octinoxate.
The newly proposed bill, Senate Bill 2571, aims to prohibit the sale of chemical-based sunscreens made with the aforementioned ingredients. "It shall be unlawful to sell, offer for sale, or distribute for sale in the state any SPF sunscreen protection personal care product that contains oxybenzone or octinoxate, or both, without a medically licensed prescription," states the proposed bill.
On April 27, lawmakers gathered to vote on the bill, which passed with amendments. A final decision will be made Tuesday, May 1, during which lawmakers will decide whether or not Hawaii will be the first state to ban the sale of sunscreen formulated with oxybenzone or octinoxate. If passed, the ban is set to go into effect within the next couple of years.