solving the
plastic crisis
with Carissa Cabrera

Carissa Cabrera, CEO of Futureswell

The plastic pollution crisis is a global issue that touches every coastline, reaches every community, and is embedded into every corner of our Earth.

It is estimated that one garbage truck of plastic enters our ocean every single minute. An issue that is complex and massive requires all of us to play a role in solving the problem, and there is a lot to learn from the solutionists on the front lines.

Recently, I joined 4ocean’s crew in Bali, Indonesia, for a beach cleanup. As an ocean conservationist working on marine debris solutions across the Pacific, I wanted to learn from the local team how their process worked and what lessons we can learn from them. Here is what I learned:

1.    Create local jobs: As a mission-driven business, 4ocean can employ local residents to keep their backyard coastlines clean from plastic and trash by providing jobs to clean the ocean, rivers, and coastlines full-time. Some of the team members I spent the morning with had been cleaning beaches with 4ocean for years! This economic model enables local job creation and consistent clean-ups, which is important for places like Bali that suffer from chronic exposure to plastic pollution.

2.    Keep it fun: It is a gift to have a job that allows you to leave places better than you found it, and we could sense that during our beach cleanup as a team. We laughed, played, and cleaned an entire stretch of coastline in four short hours together. 4ocean measures and weighs the plastic and trash they remove to track their impact in their work area.

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3.    Involve everyone: Plastic has become part of our daily lives, and we need to work with businesses, community members, and the public to participate in solutions. 4ocean regularly works with companies to reduce their plastic footprint and lessen their impact on the natural world. By bringing businesses into the solution, they can invest in clean-ups and adapt their practices to protect the ocean.

While cleaning the beach with the 4ocean crew, we removed everyday items like straws and bottle caps from every crevice of the beach. We filmed the entire experience to share with the world so you can see what the beaches of Bali look like and the local heroes cleaning them each day. We discussed a society that didn’t rely on single-use plastic and what it would take to stop these items from ending up in the ocean playgrounds we love. While there isn’t one single answer, there is a community of solutionists working on it that you can learn from, support, and maybe even join.

Watch our full adventure with the 4ocean Crew:

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We’re always on the lookout for incredible stories from our community! Pitch yours to our team at stories@4ocean.com