Tackling Trash On The High Seas

By Scott Kriner, Green Metal Consulting

Normally, I never watch CBS’s Sixty Minutes on a Sunday Evening on television.  But recently I was stopped with my remote in hand when I heard that the show that night would feature people that were planning an enormous undertaking.

The trailer for the program described a story about how two young men from Florida were driven to clean the world’s oceans of plastic and trash.  They named their movement “4ocean.”

The current situation is that there are thousands of pounds of plastic and other types of trash in the world’s oceans, along with even more plastic and trash along coastlines.  In the Pacific Ocean there is a large area where trash from all over the world is cut off from the currents that would otherwise help to dissipate trash. This area is actually a natural large whirlpool that pulls down all types of trash rather than allowing it to float. So, part of the challenge for 4ocean is the reality that this is more than merely skimming trash and plastic before it is recycled.

The movement realized quickly that their two modest boats were not enough for the growing of 4ocean. So, they purchased four boats and ships – all with full captain and crews—for whatever is needed on the seas.

The two founders also knew that they had to work hard to make people aware of the situation, not just those close to them, but people around the world. To keep the effort in sight at all times they provide a bracelet to those who join the movement for a small fee. And the bracelets are made from trash plastic and glass.

The founders established a headquarters in Boca Rotan, FL. Recently they also created an international headquarters in Bali in Indonesia. And they have established a special relationship with the island of Haiti.

At this point there are 13 people on the main team at 4ocean, as well as many volunteers to help with all aspects of the movement

The results to-date are impressive. 4ocean has already removed 3,508,963 pounds of trash. 4ocean is now pulling 3,000 pounds of plastic waste every day from oceans and coastlines.

Given the scope of the problem, 4ocean is not going to be able to rid the oceans and coastlines of all trash. But that’s not the real story anyway. The real story is the vision and drive of two young men from a corner of Florida who created a movement to make the world better place. To learn more about the organization, and support their efforts, visit today. 

Scott Kriner is the president and founder of Green Metal Consulting Inc. He is a LEED Accredited Professional who began his career in the metal construction industry in 1981. His company is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, the California Association of Building Energy Consultants and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).

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