4ocean Scam? Why Not Being a Non-Profit Causes Waves

4ocean Team

4ocean was founded on the belief that business can be a force for good, but people still confuse us for a nonprofit. Now, it’s time to set the record straight.

You may have seen odd pop ups and terms like “4ocean scandal” and wondered, “Is 4ocean legit?” We’re here to answer all your burning questions and demonstrate that 4ocean’s business model supports the cause our team and our customers care about most: ending the ocean plastic crisis.

Yes, we are a business — and our business is cleaning the ocean.

As a Public Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corp, 4ocean is legally required to fulfill our environmental obligation while balancing stakeholder interests. We built our business model around this approach to help achieve our goal, and we are regularly audited and certified by trusted third-parties to maintain this status.

We invest time and money into a global ocean clean-up operation that employs people in communities directly impacted by plastic pollution, providing a living wage.

Our customers’ support allows us to continue this important work and uplift communities around the world. In fact, 100% of our profits go to our mission

How does 4ocean help?

In the last 70 years, the world has created 18 trillion pounds of plastic and recycled less than 10% of it, causing plastic to find its way into streams, rivers, lakes, and of course, oceans.

Since 2017, 4ocean has recovered over 30 million pounds of trash from the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines. As an organization, we also diverted more than 300 million single-use plastics from the waste stream.

We hire full-time captains and crews in areas of the world most directly affected by plastic pollution to remove plastic and other harmful man-made debris in these at-risk areas. Some of the plastic materials recovered are then used to create products such as our bracelets.

We seek to be as transparent as possible with our customers. The 4ocean scam rumor has no merit as our teams work tirelessly to achieve our environmental obligations while providing a unique product.

Additionally, 4ocean supports other nonprofits with similar goals to fight climate change and pollution. Since 2017, the company has donated nearly $2 million dollars to nonprofit ocean conservation organizations and, through our partnership with SeaTrees by Sustainable Surf, have planted more than 18,000 mangrove trees and restored over 4,5000 square feet of kelp forest to offset our company’s carbon footprint.

Why are people asking if 4ocean is a scam?

Some assumptions have been made and rumors about a 4ocean scam spread on the internet, but we’re here to address the rumors and share the truth.

MYTH: 4ocean is a for-profit company, so it doesn’t have to fulfill claims or give money to its stated cause

TRUTH: As a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC), we are legally obligated to finance and work toward our stated mission. In fact, we chose to become a PBC because we wanted to ensure that our mission remains a priority no matter what changes the future may bring. We also chose to become a PBC because we believe we can have a greater impact on the social and environmental issues related to plastic pollution than we would have had as a nonprofit. Ultimately, we founded this business to fund our daily cleanups, create jobs for people who are impacted by plastic pollution, and inspire action on behalf of our one shared ocean.

Myth: 4ocean cleanups don’t actually happen or workers find trash from dumpsters and claim it came from the ocean

TRUTH: Our daily cleanups are meticulously documented with before, during, and after photos as well as critical data points including GPS-verified location, duration, and crew members and vessels involved to prove that we’re recovering trash directly from the environment and not dumpsters, parking lots, or recycling centers.

Every single pound of trash we recover can be traced from the point of recovery through our entire supply chain. This claim is verified through our GreenCircle Certification, which requires on-site observations of our cleanups as well as audits of our documentation.

Myth: 4ocean is not obligated to share financial information with the public

TRUTH: While it’s true that as a company we do not have to share any details on our finances, we want our customers to trust and believe in our mission as much as we do. We protect our data for security reasons, but we are open about the fact that 100% of our profits are used to support our mission. Third-parties like GreenCircle Certified and B Lab routinely audit our operations—including our private financial records—to verify this claim and our impact. 

Support 4ocean. Support the oceans.

Despite rumors of a 4ocean scandal and misconceptions about the company and its legitimacy, 4ocean is made up of a team of extremely dedicated individuals who work daily to clean the ocean and make our planet a better place. Through clear communication and greater transparency, we hope to strengthen our connection with our customers and move our mission forward to save our oceans and protect Earth.

Discover how you can get involved!