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4Ocean: Fighting The Good Fight

Sharing is caring. Except when it comes to plastic.

When college buddies Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper decided to take a surf trip to Bali after graduating, they never imagined that it would irrevocably change their lives and the fate of the ocean. During that trip, they experienced Bali’s marine pollution up close and personal and were devastated by the amount of plastic riding the waves with them. They wondered why no one was doing anything about the problem, so they embarked on a journey to find out.

One day the friends visited a fishing village where they witnessed fishermen pushing their boats through mounds of plastic that had washed up on the beach. It was then that they realised plastic was not only threatening the environment, but also the fishermen’s livelihoods. That sparked the idea that perhaps the fishermen could earn extra income by pulling plastic from the ocean. The duo began to brainstorm ways to make that happen, and 4Ocean was born.

4Ocean creates a new economy for the removal of trash by giving value to ocean plastic. They hire local fishermen to collect plastic from the oceans and coastlines and provide them with reliable incomes and the latest technology to help reclaim plastic and prevent it from entering the ocean. The reclaimed plastic is then recycled and made into new products, thus eliminating the need for virgin plastics.

As of July 2018, 4Ocean has pulled over 1,000,000 pounds of plastic and trash from the ocean and they now have offices in Bali, Florida and Haiti. In the coming year, they plan to have 4Ocean clean-up headquarters in 12 new countries.

Funding for 4Ocean comes from the sale of bracelets that are hand-assembled in Bali and made from recycled materials. For each bracelet you buy, 4Ocean will remove one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines. 100 percent of the sales go towards their global ocean clean-up operation including local clean-ups, incomes for fishermen, boat maintenance, education, trash disposal with local waste and recycling facilities, and new technology.

Although 4Ocean does not take donations, you can help by purchasing bracelets and volunteering at community clean-up events. They also offer wholesale opportunities for retailers whose mission aligns with theirs. Be sure to check out their website for the latest bracelet styles, subscription offers, information on community clean-ups and news about their exciting new initiatives.