Avid surfer Alex Schulze is one half of the team behind 4Ocean, a company that converts garbage from the ocean it into bracelets for general sale. The charity, which employs more than 250 people, claims to have removed 1.25m pounds of trash from the ocean since 2017, and has had its products worn by models during New York Fashion week.
Schulze set up the company with surfing partner and business partner Andrew Cooper after a trip to Bali, where they were confronted with the sheer amount of plastic in the ocean. They realised local people would only clean up the waste if demand was switched from seafood to the plastic in the ocean, and fishers were paid to clean the ocean instead of catch fish.
The hand-assembled bracelets are made with recycled glass and the cord is made with recycled water bottles. Their sale is attached to a series of ‘causes’, the most recent of which is saving Octopuses, in partnership with Ocean Conservancy, because plastic can get into coral reefs where some Octupi live. Previous causes had included protecting the barrier reef.
The company uses technology to prevent, intercept and remove trash from the ocean and coastlines, using full-time captains and crews cleaning the ocean and coastlines 24 hours a day. It also runs education and awareness programmes.
“We’re creating an economy for the removal of plastic from the ocean. Our reclaimed plastics are turned into high quality pellets that manufacturers can transform into meaningful and sustainable products,” commented Schulze on the 4Ocean website.Tags: Climate crisis, ocean, plastic pollution