We’re on a mission to end the ocean plastic crisis
4ocean is an ocean cleanup company dedicated to ending the ocean plastic crisis. As a Public Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corp, we harness the power of business to fund a global cleanup operation that’s responsible for recovering millions of pounds of plastic and trash from the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines.
Our Origin Story
4ocean was founded on the belief that business can be a force for good, and that the small choices we make every day, collectively, have the power to change the world.
Founded by two surfers
Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper were inspired to start this business after taking a surf trip to Bali, Indonesia, in 2015. While they had grown up in Florida and made their living from the ocean, Bali is where they truly began to understand the severity of the ocean plastic crisis and its impact not just on marine life, but on the coastal communities that, like them, relied on the health of the ocean to survive.
Inspired by local fishermen
After speaking with local fishermen about the impact plastic pollution was having on their livelihoods, Alex and Andrew realized they could build a business that paid full-time captains and crews to recover plastic and other man-made trash from their local environment instead of catching fish.
4ocean is born
On the flight home, Alex and Andrew came up with ideas for products that would fund their cleanups. They finally settled on a bracelet because it was a wearable symbol of their mission that would spark conversations about plastic pollution and it would act as a physical reminder to people to make ocean-minded choices like refusing single-use plastics.
Millions of pounds of trash later
Now, 4ocean manages one of the world’s largest ongoing ocean cleanup operations and employs hundreds of professional, full-time captains and crews who are cleaning the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines every single day.
Cleaning the ocean is our business
As the interconnected threats of plastic pollution and climate change continue to grow, those who rely on the health of the ocean for their livelihoods are finding it increasingly difficult to earn a living.
Our entire business model is designed to fund the growth and expansion of our global cleanup operation and provide steady, living-wage employment to people whose lives and livelihoods are disproportionately impacted by plastic pollution.
The jobs we create help counteract the economic impacts of plastic pollution, incentivize environmental stewardship at the local level, and bring new opportunities for growth, equality, education, and prosperity to our crew members, their families, and their communities.
The best way to clean the ocean is by preventing plastic pollution in the first place. We make it a priority to share our knowledge and educate the global community about the causes and impacts of plastic pollution so people feel inspired to end their reliance on single-use plastics and empowered to adopt more ocean-friendly habits.
A consumer movement can help drive change, but ending the ocean plastic crisis will still require direct action from leaders in government, business, and other institutions. That’s why we’re fierce advocates for business innovation, government incentives, and cross-functional partnerships that support the creation and growth of a sustainable circular economy.
We’re always looking for new ways to make a difference, maximize our impact, and discover new ways to use and create demand for our recovered ocean materials. From cleanup technology to recycling infrastructure to product development, we’re constantly exploring, inventing, testing, and investing in promising new solutions to the ocean plastic crisis.
Cleanups alone won’t end the ocean plastic crisis, but they’re still necessary to mitigate its worst impacts. By recovering plastic that’s already polluting our waterways, we can help the ocean and humanity begin to heal. That’s why we’re one of the only companies in the world that directly hires full-time captains and crews to recover plastic and other man-made trash from the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines seven days a week.
One Pound Promise
Our professional, full-time captains and crews pull one pound of trash from the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines for every product sold.
Captains + Crews
All of our crew members are hired full time and paid fair living wages. We also cover all health insurance costs and provide additional benefits and bonus incentives.
Vessels + Equipment
We own all of the recovery vessels, tools, and equipment our crews need to do their jobs safely and efficiently. As we expand, our fleet grows larger and maintenance costs rise.
Facilities + Operations
We operate out of multiple locations and need dedicated areas where we can meet, store our equipment, and process recovered materials so they don’t reenter the environment.
Education + Awareness
From lesson plans for educators to speaking events, we’re committed to sharing our knowledge, raising awareness, and inspiring action on behalf of our one shared ocean.
Research + Development
There is no playbook for cleaning the ocean. With your support, we can research, design, develop, and invest in promising new solutions to the ocean plastic crisis.
— OUR IMPACT —
pounds of trash recovered from the world’s
oceans, rivers, and coastlines since 2017
A legal structure for mission-focused businesses that provide a public benefit and operate sustainably, this legal status empowers 4ocean to prioritize our impact alongside profit.
The third-party nonprofit B Lab has certified that 4ocean meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.
We donate at least 1% of our gross sales to ocean-friendly nonprofits each year through a combination of monetary, in-kind, and approved promotional support.
Since 2017, we've donated a total of almost $2 million to more than 50 organizations that have a proven track record of driving positive change for the ocean and our planet.
Every year, we partner with SeaTrees by Sustainable Surf not just to offset our entire carbon footprint, but to create a positive environmental impact by restoring blue-carbon ecosystems like kelp and mangrove forests, coral reefs, and coastal watersheds.
We’ve already planted over 18,000 mangroves and restored nearly 5,000 sq. ft. of giant kelp forest!
This is what the clean ocean movement is really all about
We don’t clean the ocean just so people can have pretty beaches. The clean ocean movement has never been about aesthetics.
The clean ocean movement is about protecting and restoring the environment so this planet can sustain human life.
It’s about creating fair, living-wage jobs and fulfilling careers in communities where people’s livelihoods and quality of life have been impacted by plastic pollution.
It’s about serving our local community and doing our part to create cleaner, safer living conditions for millions of people around the world.
It’s about working alongside the global community to build a more sustainable future where humanity grows alongside nature and not at its expense.
It’s about doing our job so well that the world no longer needs 4ocean or organizations like us. When we work ourselves out of a job, we’ll know that we’ve achieved our mission.
Pull the next pound!
By purchasing this bracelet, you will remove one pound of trash from the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines.