Frequently Asked Questions
Our crews follow a meticulous documentation process that allows us to track each and every pound of trash we recover back to its original source. Not only can we tell you when and where our plastic was recovered, we can also tell you which members of our crew recovered it and what tools and vessels were used to do it.
The following data is recorded for every single cleanup mission: date, location, duration, crew members involved, the weight of each sack of recovered debris, the total weight of all trash collected, and the signatures of the person recording the data and the location manager that reviews that data. We also document every cleanup visually with before, during, and after photos that guarantee our recovery efforts have a direct impact on the environment.
All data and photographs are uploaded to the 4ocean TrashTracker™, a proprietary digital system that provides full transparency and traceability for all of our recovered materials. The TrashTracker™ is audited and verified quarterly by the Better Business Bureau.
4ocean is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, and has cleanup divisions in Florida, Hawai'i, Indonesia and Guatemala. You can learn more about our cleanup divisions here.
4ocean’s professional, full-time crews specialize in recovering plastic from the open ocean and environments where plastic is at a high risk of entering the ocean including rivers, mangrove forests, estuaries, beaches, and other coastal terrain. You can learn more about our cleanups here.
4ocean crews recover all types of plastic, even plastic that has little or no recycling value that is often left behind by other waste collectors.
Recovered plastics are transported back to our local facilities where they are weighed, documented, and sorted by type and color. What happens next depends on the type of plastic. Some plastics are recycled to create new 4ocean products. Some plastics are taken to a local recycling center for processing so they can become other kinds of products. Plastics that can’t be recycled may be extruded and used to create things like plastic lumber. When we’ve exhausted every other option, materials at the end of their lifecycle are sent to the Solid Waste Authority in West Palm Beach, Florida—one of the most advanced, efficient, and low-emission waste management facilities in the United States—where it’s converted into energy that powers thousands of homes and businesses in our local community.
4ocean is a business committed to ending the ocean plastic crisis. Specifically, we are an established Public Benefit Corporation, which is a legal structure for mission-focused businesses that provide a public benefit and operate sustainably. This legal status empowers 4ocean to prioritize our mission and impact alongside profit. We’re also a Certified B Corp, which means the nonprofit B Lab has certified that 4ocean meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.
No. We offset our company’s entire carbon footprint every year by restoring blue carbon ecosystems like coral reefs, kelp and mangrove forests, and coastal watersheds through SeaTrees by Sustainable Surf. This includes all of the activities we engage in to offset your plastic footprint.
No. 4ocean Plastic Credits are an interim solution to sustainability that allows you to offset your plastic footprint and achieve plastic neutrality in the short term. Plastic credits cannot replace the impact of a robust long-term sustainability plan that reduces or eliminates virgin plastics in your supply chain, completely phases out single-use plastic packaging, drives consumer demand for products made with recycled content, and invests directly in circular infrastructure.
4ocean is committed to ending the ocean plastic crisis and working with the global community to build a more sustainable future where humanity grows alongside nature and not at its expense. To be frank, we’d like nothing better than to work ourselves out of a job and live on a planet where our services are no longer needed.
Transparency and accountability are some of our most important guiding principles so we’ve baked them into our standard operating procedures. As the business directly responsible for managing the cleanups that offset your plastic footprint, we can provide unparalleled insight into your social and environmental impact. For example, we document every single cleanup with photos and key data points so you know where every pound of plastic was recovered, when, how, and by whom. All of this information is uploaded into the 4ocean TrashTracker™ which is audited and verified by the Better Business Bureau quarterly. There’s a lot more that goes into answering the question and you can read all about it here.
Your plastic footprint is the total weight of all the plastic you produce, consume, and/or discard in a specific timeframe. Individuals, businesses, governments, and even products can have a plastic footprint.
Plastic offsetting is the act of balancing the negative impact of your plastic footprint by supporting projects that have a positive social and environmental impact. For instance, you can offset your plastic footprint by recovering an equal or greater amount of plastic waste from the environment.
You are considered plastic neutral when you offset your entire plastic footprint. Generally, a company will purchase enough plastic credits equivalent to offset their annual plastic footprint for the previous year. Though to be truly plastic neutral, a company would also calculate their plastic footprint for every year they’ve been operational and offset that footprint as well and then commit to offsetting their plastic footprint every year going forward.
A plastic credit is a measurable and verifiable unit that represents a specific quantity of plastic that has been recovered from the environment.
One 4ocean Plastic Credit is equivalent to one pound of plastic recovered from the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines.
Maybe. The only time your plastic footprint needs to be audited by a third party is if you’re offsetting your entire company’s footprint through our Plastic Neutral Company certification. The other three certifications do not require a third-party audit.
It’s highly likely that you still have a plastic footprint. Your plastic footprint includes all of the plastic you use in the normal course of business operations. All of the plastic you use to provide your service and handle administrative activities counts toward your plastic footprint.
4ocean directly manages a global ocean cleanup operation and employs professional, full-time captains and crews to recover plastic from the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines seven days a week. We offset your plastic footprint by recovering one pound of plastic from these environments for each 4ocean Plastic Credit you purchase.
You can get certified in one of four ways depending on your goals. Each certification comes with a media toolkit that makes it easy to share your impact with consumers, investors, and key stakeholders.
Certified Cleanup Partner
Becoming a 4ocean Certified Cleanup Partner is the fastest and easiest way to partner with 4ocean. Choose the amount of trash you would like to remove from the ocean and receive a marketing package to communicate your impact.
One Pound Promise Partner
Our One Pound Promise program is offered to Partners that want tangible impact for their customers. Remove one pound of trash from the ocean for every product sold, order placed, service rendered, etc.
Plastic Neutral Product
Calculate the total amount of plastic used in your product and remove the equivalent amount of plastic directly from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines accomplishing plastic neutrality. Think carbon offsets, but for plastic.
Plastic Neutral Company
Calculate the total amount of plastic used in your company and remove the equivalent amount of plastic directly from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines accomplishing plastic neutrality. Think carbon offsets, but for plastic.
Your toolkit will include your official certificate, badges you can use to market your certification, as well as photo and video assets that you can use to promote certification. Each kit is tailored to the certificate you’re awarded.