A company that truly stands for the oceans is one that names themselves after its cause. 4Ocean was started by Florida surfers Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper after a surf trip to Bali in 2015. Longtime seaside residents and with a passion for surfing, they saw the real impact of plastic on the ocean itself, but also in fellow coastal communities. For the two surfers, it’s not about making beaches look pretty, it’s protecting and restoring the environment, creating fair and living wage jobs and serving local communities.
4Ocean cleans up one pound of plastic for every purchase of a hand-crafted, recycled, waterproof bracelet made in Bali. Gorgeous colors and stainless steel charms adorn the bracelets. The company also offers stainless steel water bottles that feature bamboo caps, the company’s logo and catchphrase, “One Pound Pulled.” Products are shipped carbon neutral and plastic free.
They pay captains and crews a steady, living wage to recover ocean plastic instead of catching fish seven days a week. 4Ocean manages one of the world’s largest cleanup companies, alongside others who each contribute improving the health of marine life and coastal communities around the world. With 12 locations worldwide, 185 employees and 17 vessels, the company certainly makes an impact every year. Since 2017, 4 Ocean has pulled over 29 million pounds of trash from the ocean around the world. Different bracelet designs support different efforts.
In Florida, the company focuses on cleaning the Intracoastal Waterway (on the east coast side) and is also certified to clean mangrove forests. A dive crew cleans up tires from the failed Osborne Reef project in the 1960s. Four locations in Indonesia clean up rivers before the plastic reaches the ocean. Another location in Guatemala focuses on cleaning up the Rio Motagua before it reaches the Caribbean Sea, and they also clean up Caribbean coastlines.
The company holds certifications from B-Corp, Public Benefit Corporation, 1% for the Planet and Ocean Positive. 4Ocean is audited by the Better Business Bureau on a quarterly basis, and GreenCircle certified, which verifies that the recovered materials are directly from the oceans, rivers and coastlines, there is a clear chain of custody between 4Ocean and its suppliers, and the integrity of the materials is maintained over its lifecycle. The company says when it has worked itself out of a job, they’ll know that they’ve achieved their mission. The company’s mission is to educate, advocate, innovate and recover ocean health.
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