4ocean directly manages the global ocean cleanup operation responsible for recovering the plastic waste that offsets your plastic footprint. There are no middlemen, which means we can provide more insight into your social and environmental impact than other plastic offset programs.
Some companies that offer plastic offsets are outsourcing plastic recovery to a third party nonprofit or company. They act as middlemen who broker a deal to offset your plastic footprint instead of directly managing the plastic recovery operation.
The third party companies they engage generally utilize a collection center model, which means they set up a facility where people in developing nations can bring recovered plastic and get paid per pound based on the value of the plastic.
While this model has fantastic social and environmental impacts, it is tough to prove where the plastic was collected.
We take care of our Crews
As plastic pollution and climate change continue to impact the marine environment and the coronavirus pandemic impacts tourism, communities that rely on the ocean for their livelihoods are finding it increasingly difficult to earn a living and often have few alternatives for steady work.
4ocean has always been committed to hiring people who live in the communities we serve. All of our captains and crews are hired full time and paid fair wages. We cover all health insurance costs and provide additional benefits and bonus incentives.
The jobs we create incentivize environmental stewardship at the local level and bring new opportunities for growth, equality, education, and prosperity for our crew members, their families, and their communities.
Safe and ethical working conditions
The safety of our crews is always paramount. Because we hire our crews directly, we can make sure all crew members are of legal working age. It also puts us in a position to set ethical operating standards, establish proactive safety measures, and enforce strict safety guidelines.
All of our crew members are provided with and trained to use the specialized vessels, tools, gear, and equipment they need to perform their jobs safely and effectively. We also monitor weather forecasts and will alter or halt operations if severe storms or other conditions threaten the safety of our crews.
Historically, our cleanups have been conducted with minimal safety incidents but we continue to review and improve our guidelines and procedures to ensure our crew is as safe as possible.
We recover ocean plastic
Recovered directly from the ocean, rivers and coastlines.
4ocean cleanups occur daily with professional, full-time crews that 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.
No plastic left behind
Ideally, plastic offset programs result in the recovery of plastic that would otherwise have been left in the environment. Like the recycling market, the collection center model pays a premium for recovered plastics with high recycling value.
While this incentivizes the collection of PET and other high-value plastics, plastics with little or no recycling value like wrappers, sachets, styrofoam, and mixed plastics are often skipped over in the collection process and left in the environment.
4ocean captains and crews recover all types of plastics and not just the high value plastics that drive revenue. This is why our costs are higher than comparable companies because of the additional processing and recycling fees for low value materials.
We document everything
The 4ocean TrashTracker™
Our meticulous documentation process 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 show you photos of which members of our crew recovered it and what tools and vessels were used to do it.
All cleanup data is recorded including the 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.
Third party audits and verification
The 4ocean TrashTracker™ is audited quarterly by the Better Business Bureau to verify the accuracy and traceability of our documentation process.
GreenCircle Certified has audited the 4ocean TrashTracker™ and observed our cleanups during onsite visits to verify that the materials entering our supply chain are recovered directly from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines by our professional, full-time cleanup crews.
GreenCircle has also audited our entire supply chain to observe how our materials are handled over the course of their lifecycle and verify that they maintain their integrity throughout the chain of custody. This audit requires a verifiable paper and photo trail that fully documents the journey of our materials to their final destination, including the equipment and vessels used for recovery and transport. It also includes downstream material management organizations like recyclers, waste-to-energy facilities, and landfills that handle recovered materials that we cannot sell or reuse.
After this intense auditing process, GreenCircle has certified that our recovered materials are collected directly from the environment and that there is a clear chain of custody between 4ocean and all of our suppliers.