Facebook-based group 4ocean removes one pound of trash from the world’s oceans per bracelet purchased, and after 3 years in operation, 4ocean is closing in on 8 million pounds of trash pulled from the sea.
Cleanup efforts are currently underway in Florida, Bali, and Haiti—and now 4ocean is expanding its presence and operations into Central America, an area that is suffering from a blight earning it the moniker “trash islands”.
Tens of millions of pounds of ocean trash are believed to be floating in and along Central America’s ocean and coastlines, due to minimal infrastructure and multiple river systems flowing from city centers directly into the oceans.
The 4ocean founders Andrew Cooper and Alex Schulze, who were included in Forbes’ 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 last year, see Rio Motagua in Guatemala as a critical opportunity to stem the tide of garbage moving into the ocean.
“Expanding our cleanup operations into Central America offers us an opportunity to create significant change in the ocean plastic crisis,” said Schulze. “Our plan is to not only remove millions of pounds of plastic by leveraging innovative cleanup technologies but to also stop plastic pollution at its source by working with local communities to change plastic consumption habits.”
Upon opening its Central American operations, 4ocean aims to employ more than twenty local workers and utilize six trash-collecting vessels—as well as the 4ocean Mobile Skimmer, an original watercraft designed to remove large quantities of debris in high-density areas. In addition, they will install boom collection systems at large river mouths to minimize the amount of pollution that enters the ocean.
Last week, 4ocean’s Haiti team removed 65,000 pounds of trash from the ocean and rivers, and according to press contacts, 4ocean is aiming to remove 1 million pounds of garbage from the Rio Motagua and the Central American Atlantic in its first year on-site.