Ocean Cleanup Companies

Do you ever feel guilty when you see all the trash floating in the ocean? As divers, it is heartbreaking to see the amount of trash in the water and we often wonder how to reduce plastic pollution.

Well, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world feel the same way, including us! But what can we do about our massive plastic footprint? One solution is to support a company that actively works towards ocean cleanup and ocean conservation.

There are a lot of these companies out there, so how do you choose which one is right for you? Fret not, we are here to help. We’ve collected information on some of the most popular ocean cleanup companies, and we’ll tell you what each one does!

1️⃣ 4OCEAN

4Ocean, founded in Bali, Indonesia, by Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper, intends to clean up plastics in the water with the cooperation of local communities. Materials retrieved from the water are used to create new and innovative goods that raise awareness of the ocean plastic pollution problem.

In 2015, they started selling 4Ocean wristbands to help support their global ocean cleaning campaign. The 4Ocean wristbands also provide information about the numerous marine life species that need to be protected.

When you buy a 4Ocean product, one pound of garbage is removed from the seas, rivers, and beaches. They have collected almost 15 million pounds of waste in the United States, Indonesia, Haiti, and Guatemala.

This initiative is working in 27 countries worldwide. Using a range of approaches, like nets for tiny plastics floating in the water and divers to recover larger things that have sunken to the ocean floor.

4ocean home page

2️⃣ The Ocean Cleanup 

The Ocean Cleanup is a Dutch nonprofit engineering environmental group that develops ocean cleanup technologies to recover plastic trash and capture it in rivers before it reaches the ocean.

They placed their first full-scale prototype in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch after early testing and prototyping in the North Sea.

Their second prototype system was implemented in June 2019. In addition, they deployed their river technology, the Interceptor, in two areas in 2019, unveiling the project publicly in October 2019, and deploying another in 2020.

The project intends to launch a total of 60 such devices, and they estimate that this capacity will be able to clear up half of the waste in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within five years of full-scale deployment.

3️⃣ Ichthion

Ichthion is based on a concept developed at London’s Imperial College aimed at reducing significant amounts of plastic from rivers and seas. Azure, Cobalt, and Ultramarine are the three technologies used by the business in their ocean cleanup efforts.

Azure is an improved barrier that is meant to be installed in rivers to prevent plastic garbage from reaching marine areas. 

Cobalt is a self-cleaning device that employs infrastructure motion to absorb plastic waste from fluvial and marine settings.

Finally, Ultramarine is intended to be installed onto huge transport boats. This organization won the global ‘Cutting River Plastic Waste’ competition!

Ichthion aims to overcome the limitations of existing technologies by delivering the first truly scalable solutions to reduce the flow of plastics into the world’s oceans, proposing energy-generating systems that can be installed in rivers, coastal areas, and the oceans.

4️⃣ The Great Bubble Barrier

Founded in 2017, by Dutch amateur sailors Anne Marieke Eveleens, Francis Zoet, and Saskia Studer, the Great Bubble Barrier collects rubbish in rivers and canals to keep it from reaching the seas.

The collection method uses a barrier of bubbles that force trash to the surface and along riverbeds, where they can be collected and delivered to recycling facilities.

The barrier is a long, perforated tube that extends 60 meters diagonally across the bottom of canals.

The first Bubble Barrier, commissioned by the Regional Water Authority Amstel, Gooi and Vecht, and the municipality of Amsterdam, was placed in a canal in Amsterdam in November 2019.

The bubble curtain is formed by pumping air through a perforated tube at the bottom of the canal, creating a bubble screen, which prevents plastics and sends trash to the surface.

The bubble curtain’s diagonal positioning in the river directs plastic debris to the side and into the collection system.

The great bubble barrier home page

5️⃣ River Cleaning

This non profit organization was founded in 2018 in Veneto, Italy, with the mission of preventing plastic trash from entering the seas and oceans.

The River Cleaning System is designed as a diagonal line of floating, spinning, cog-type devices that transport captured garbage across waterways.

The garbage is passed up the chain by the spinning gears until it reaches the storage sites near the river.

River Cleaning feels that we must address the issue before plastic pollution travels from rivers to seas and ends up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They employ boats with draught systems, net systems, or obstacles that block the river mouths and prevent the trash from getting into the oceans.

6️⃣ Searious Business

Since its inception in 2016, Searious Business has attracted notable partners like Unilever, Heineken, and National Geographic. While technically not a “clean up” operation like the other companies mentioned, this organization instead enables large companies who want to reduce their plastic impact to establish a circular use of recycled plastic.

The mission of Searious Business is to assist businesses in developing and accelerating their sustainability goals through a combination of material modifications and business model shifts.

They are a mission-driven organization that believes in preventing plastic waste at its source, assisting firms in preserving a competitive edge while working within a circular economy for plastic.

Despite the fact that practically all businesses utilize plastics, plastics are rarely seen as a valuable resource. Local communities and regeneration of plastic materials can become a competitive advantage, resulting in a significant decrease in plastics entering our oceans.

7️⃣ Seabin Project

The Seabin Project was founded by ambitious Australians whose mission was to address the big problem that ocean plastic and other trash are posing to the world’s seas.

The Seabin Project’s goal statement is modest in words but vast in meaning – “having pollution-free oceans for our future generations.”

Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, two surfers, developed Seabin to collect ocean waste such as garbage, petrol, oil, and detergents.

Water is drawn into each “Seabin”, a marine bin, pulling up any floating contaminants like trash and oil. A bag put in a marine bin enables water to pass through while trapping contaminants.

The capacity to trap particular microplastics allows for the collection of approximately 1.5 kg of trash per day and 12 tons per year. Beyond Seabin, the team recognizes the value of education and research in effecting long-term change, while the Global Ambassador Program collaborates with schools and other organizations for a positive impact and education on ocean pollution.

Seabins have the capacity to gather oils and liquid contaminants that float on the water’s surface. Powered by 12-volt submersible water pumps, Seabins may be powered by solar, wave, or wind generating technology.

Seabin project home page

8️⃣ Frequently Asked Questions

How Bad Is Our Plastic Pollution?

Every minute, a garbage truck full of plastic pours into our ocean. Plastic pollution is a worldwide concern and growing problem that endangers marine life, the environment, and even human health.

The world’s oceans are increasingly awash in plastic pollution, and the problem is only getting worse. A study published last year in the journal Science found that the world’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.

How Do We Reduce Plastic Waste?

There are many ways that we can reduce plastic waste. We can start by reducing the amount of plastic that we use, using recycled plastic, and reusing as much as we can.

Plastic is an easily recycled material that we can repurpose and reuse. Avoid single-use items like straws and plastic bags, and trade them for more sustainable products like reusable bamboo straws and linen bags instead!

What Is The Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a floating island of trash in the Pacific Ocean measuring roughly 1.6 million square kilometers. To put it in context, that’s about twice the size of Texas, and three times the size of France!

It’s estimated that the patch contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing 80,000 metric tons. That’s like dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute. Our plastic problem is very real!

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