Inorganic oxide materials such as TiO2 and ZnO have been extensively studied for environmental remediation, that operates through photo generated Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) such as H2O2, ·OH and O2− to decontaminate waste water. However, inorganic solid oxidants such as metal peroxides capable of generating ROS in aqueous solutions have not been studied for environmental remediation. Towards this objective, we have synthesized peroxides of Zn, Mg, and Ba and characterized these by powder X-ray diffraction, Transmission Electron Microscopy, UV-visible spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The photocatalytic activity of these wide band gap semiconductors has also been investigated. The novelty of the work is in the use of these peroxides as chemical sources of ROS in aqueous suspensions in addition to their photochemical generation. Hence, these peroxides, in particular Ba, exhibit high photocatalytic activity, better than the well-known ZnO. The mechanisms of ROS generation and subsequent dye degradation are elucidated. ROS has been estimated and is correlated to the photocatalytic activity. This work reports for the first time BaO2 as potential photocatalyst.