PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Sunscreen dispensers have returned to all Rhode Island state beaches and parks for the summer, but this year they’re touch-free in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Rhode Island became the first state in the country to offer free sunscreen at its beaches and parks last year. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) said the dispensers were utilized more than 75,000 times last summer.
“When you head to the beach this summer, we want everyone to have a mask for when they’re in a crowd and sunscreen to protect from harmful UV rays,” Sen. Jack Reed said.
The environmentally-friendly sunscreen is provided by Raw Elements, a certified sunscreen company founded by a former Narragansett Beach lifeguard.
“We have worked incredibly hard to find the best automatic, touch-free dispensers out there in order to ensure we were able to keep protecting Rhode Island for 2020,” Founder Brian Guadagno said. “As a longtime Narraganset lifeguard, this initiative is close to home. It feels great to help everyone in the state protect themselves and our oceans.”
The sunscreen distribution program is funded by the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island, as well as by investments from South County Dermatology and Raw Elements.