By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Buy a bracelet, help fund the clean up of a pound of trash in the ocean.
That’s the concept behind 4Ocean, a new Boca-Raton based, ocean conservation business founded by two recent Florida Atlantic University graduates, Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper.
The two co-founders met in school and shared an interest for all things water: fishing, surfing, diving.
“We are passionate about the ocean,” Cooper said.
He said they were sitting around talking about ocean pollution when they saw a video on YouTube. The video showcased an idea of using a machine to remove trash from the ocean.
Instead of a machine, the duo thought they could start a movement to promote clean waters by inspiring people.
“We wanted to start a movement of stopping ocean pollution,” Schulze said.
The goal: influence one million people to remove a pound of trash from the ocean.
To do so, they launched a brand that is now their business. Their idea began in 2015, shortly after they graduated from FAU. They said they spent 15 months researching and developing before launching 4Ocean at the beginning of this year.
The concept involves people purchasing a bracelet from them for $20. The bracelets are made from recycled glass bottle and post-consumer recycled water bottles. That money is then used to pay for ocean cleanup both onshore and offshore. So far, they have cleaned up more than 90,000 pounds of trash from the ocean.
4Ocean is headquartered in Boca and has a separate space for its boats and equipment. They have 34 employees. Boats currently service West Palm Beach down to Fort Lauderdale. Cleanups occur seven days a week. They have plans to expand throughout the entire state by the end of the year and want to ultimately be known as the largest ocean cleanup.
4Ocean has three different cleanup methods including beach cleanups, offshore/Intracoastal cleanups and organizing cleanups with other organizations.
All trash collected is rinsed and sorted and brought to either a recycling center or a waste facility.
For more information or to purchase a bracelet, visit https://4ocean.com.