Go behind the scenes of our main operational base in Puerto Barrios!


The very first stop for recovered ocean plastic

Super sacks are offloaded

Trash is collected in Puerto Barrios and our two satellite locations along the coast. It’s not easy to drive to and from these locations over land, so trash from our satellite locations is transported by barge to our Puerto Barrios for processing. Super sacks of trash are offloaded by our newly built sea wall before they’re brought to our weigh station. Each super sack has a capacity of 225 pounds; if we filled one sack with nothing but PET water bottles, it would hold about 4,275 bottles.

Trash is weighed and documented

Once offloaded, super sacks of trash are brought to our weigh station where they’re weighed and documented in a meticulous process that allows us to track every pound of trash we recover from the ocean. Documentation includes all of the information from the cleanup, including the date, location, duration, crew members, individual weights of each sack, total weight for the day, and the signatures of the recorder and location manager.

Trash is sorted by type, color, and condition

After being weighed and documented, all of our recovered trash is brought to our sorting facility. Crews in this area of the base separate trash from plastic and prepare our recovered ocean plastic for recycling. They do this by removing labels and other large contaminants before sorting the ocean plastic by type, color, and condition. Sorted plastics are then bailed and transported to our local recycling partner in Villa Nueva.

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The full story of 4ocean Guatemala

Discover the causes of plastic pollution in Guatemala

It’s estimated that 80% of ocean plastic comes from “mismanaged waste” on land. In Guatemala, there’s just one official basurero, or garbage dump, for the entire country. It’s in the nation’s capital of Guatemala City and it’s currently the biggest landfill in all of Central America. Over a third of the country’s total trash ends up in the Guatemala City basurero each year, but not all of it stays there.

Tell Me More

See how 4ocean is addressing plastic pollution in Guatemala

Preventing plastic from entering the ocean is the crux of our strategy in Guatemala. Instead of sending vessels into the open ocean, our crews will focus on recovering plastic from the Rio Motagua and high-impact areas along the eastern coastline where massive amounts of trash accumulates.

Explore Our Strategy

Explore the tools we use to recover ocean plastic in Guatemala

Let us show you all of the tools and equipment we’ve invested in to keep our crews safe and maximize our impact in Guatemala. Remember that this is what you make possible every time you shop 4ocean and pull a pound of trash.

Explore Equipment

Meet the people behind 4ocean Guatemala

Opening a new cleanup division really takes a village. It’s a slow and laborious process even at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a global pandemic. But thanks to the clean ocean movement and the herculean efforts of the crew members you’re about to meet, 4ocean Guatemala is not only open, but thriving.

Meet the Team

Plastic pollution has a human impact

See what it’s like to live in an area that’s heavily impacted by plastic pollution. Join us as we travel hundreds of miles along the Rio Motagua from the Guatemala City basurero, or garbage dump, to El Quetzalito, a small village at the river mouth that’s working hard to become the last stop for river plastic and see how plastic pollution impacts quality of life not just for the residents of El Quetzalito, but communities around the world.

Visit El Quetzalito

How we recycle our recovered ocean plastic in Guatemala

After our recovered ocean plastic is weighed, documented, and sorted at our Puerto Barrios facility, it’s transported to Tecnologia Textil Avanzada, or Advanced Textile Technology (TTA), a recycling facility located just outside of Guatemala City. This is where our recovered ocean plastic is transformed into the 4ocean Plastic™ pellets we’ll use to make new products that raise awareness about plastic pollution and fund our global ocean cleanup operation.

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