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Meet 4Ocean: the surfers who are cleaning our oceans and beaches

Meet 4Ocean: the surfers who are cleaning our oceans and beaches
Source: None

4Ocean is a global movement actively removing trash from our seas while inspiring individuals to work together for cleaner oceans.

But can the latest bracelet craze really clean up our oceans?

4Ocean has put an artistic spin on a straightforward solution to plastic pollution in the oceans. Their solution is simple: beach and coastal water cleanups. Their innovation is in how they fund their work, selling bracelets made of recycled plastic bottles and glass.

You buy the bracelet, you clean the ocean 4Ocean aims to remove one pound (.45kg) of plastic and other debris from the ocean for every bracelet they sell. The concept follows a simple principle: you buy the bracelet, you clean the ocean. Source: Facebook/ScienceNaturePage

Is there really that much plastic in the ocean?

4Ocean aims to remove one pound (.45kg) of plastic and other debris from the ocean for every bracelet they sell. The concept follows a simple principle: you buy the bracelet, you clean the ocean.

Is there really that much plastic in the ocean?

Ben Taylor, in his article for EngineeringForChange.org, addresses the issue —

Anxiety has been rising over the clouds of plastic in the oceans even as we collectively dump the equivalent of one garbage truck full of plastic waste into the ocean every minute, according to a study by the World Economic Forum. There are 250,000 tons of plastic in the water now, and at the rate we’re adding it, there could be more plastic than fish by the year 2050 (by weight).

New organisations have emerged to address the problem. Initiatives like OceanCleanup, which captured imaginations with its innovative take on waste cleanup using deep-water floating barriers. Some experts have eyed the project skeptically, however, saying that time is better spent in preventing plastic from entering from our oceans in the first place. And one expert review suggests that cleaning up water near coasts and cities that are the source of the pollution would be more efficient than deep-sea platforms in the gyres.

4Ocean’s simple cleanup solution, on the other hand, is the same employed by non-profits and thousands of beach-combing volunteers around the world. Collecting trash from the beach is a direct way to reduce the trash in the ocean, according to the non-profit Ocean Society.

Source: EngineeringForChange.org Main Image: Facebook/4Ocean

and can be hazardous to a number of marine life. We encourage everyone to consider using reusable grocery bags to reduce the amount of plastic bags being produced and used. Small changes like this can make a huge difference!
Plastic bags contribute to a lot of the marine debris that is polluting our oceans and can be hazardous to a number of marine life. We encourage everyone to consider using reusable grocery bags to reduce the amount of plastic bags being produced and used. Small changes like this can make a huge difference! Source: Facebook/4Ocean

Ok, what’s the deal with 4ocean and their bracelets?

What are the bracelets made from?

The bands reflect a minimalist aesthetic as a string of clear beads made from recycled glass bottles bound with cord made from plastic bottles. You might be wondering if the bracelets are made directly from the trash that 4Ocean removes from the oceans, and they are not. They are made of recycled materials from a facility.

At $20 (£15/€17.50), the price of the bracelet may be slightly more than at which other ‘charities’ market theirs, but 4Ocean is striving to fulfil its promise of cleanup.

Weekly update tracker

A tracker on 4Ocean’s website counts off the pounds of plastic that they have cleaned. At the time of writing, it’s at nearly 48,000 lbs (21,770kg). And it rises regularly.

“To ensure that we hold our promise true to our customers, we make a monthly effort to stay ahead of it. For example, our website displays that our trash tracker has removed 47,000 pounds – we have not yet sold 47,000 bracelets,” Andrew Cooper, one of 4Ocean’s founders, told E4C.

This is a fantastic way to keep people who have bought their bands updated on 4Ocean’s progress.

Mark Murphy of Oyster Diving said that their idea was “a step in the right direction for the sustainability and health of our oceans,” and believes that “if more people got involved in similar projects, our ocean and sea-life’s health would improve dramatically.”

Who is 4Ocean?

The organisation is based out of an office and warehouse in Boca Raton, Florida (USA). A team of more than 30 employees, including a boat captain, collect trash five days per week. They sort out the recyclable materials and drop the rest at a solid waste processing facility.

How do we know they’re really cleaning up?

Doing good things for the environment and for people is good for business, so It’s hard to know which organisations are really taking action, and which ones make empty promises as a marketing scheme. 4Ocean establishes a paper trail of receipts and photos for its trash drop-offs to try to demonstrate the work the team has done. And they’re in the process of registering with the Better Business Bureau, Mr. Cooper says.

Source: EngineeringForChange.org

The bracelet is made from 100% Recycled Materials. The beads are made from recycled glass bottles & the cord is made from recycled plastic water bottles. Every bracelet purchased funds the removal of one pound of trash from the Ocean.
By purchasing this bracelet, you will remove one pound of trash from the ocean The bracelet is made from 100% Recycled Materials. The beads are made from recycled glass bottles & the cord is made from recycled plastic water bottles. Every bracelet purchased funds the removal of one pound of trash from the Ocean. Source: Facebook/4Ocean

Want to volunteer? Go for it!

4Ocean hosts onshore and offshore cleanups, inviting volunteers who want to help make our oceans healthier. You can sign up to help via their newsletter here, (scroll to the bottom of the page) and they’ll let you know when their next cleanup is going to be.

The organisation operates in Florida and the Caribbean, but there are other programs around the world. Surfers Against Sewage takes volunteers in the UK, for example. And you can find beach cleanup events at Surfrider Foundation and at The Ocean Conservancy’s website.

Source: EngineeringForChange.org

Make an Impact

Buy the bracelet: By purchasing this bracelet, you will remove one pound of trash from the ocean.

Each bracelet is made from 100% Recycled Materials. The beads are made from recycled glass bottles & the cord is made from recycled plastic water bottles. Every bracelet purchased funds the removal of one pound of trash from the Ocean.