HPU and 4ocean Team Up to Combat Marine Plastic Pollution

HPU and 4ocean Team Up to Combat Marine Plastic Pollution


HPU's Center for Marine Debris Research (CMDR), the international research institution at the forefront of marine plastics science and advocacy, is partnering with Florida-based 4ocean to recover plastic debris from Hawai‘i’s coastlines and reefs to better understand how to end the problem of ocean plastic pollution. With 4ocean’s professional crews focused on global ocean cleanup coupled with CMDR’s novel research on the sources, transport, fate and impacts of plastic marine debris, this partnership is a natural fit for both organizations. 

“This collaborative partnership with 4ocean will be instrumental in conducting high-impact research with positive international implications,” said Dr. Jennifer Lynch, research biologist with National Institute of Standards and Technology and co-director of Hawaiʻi Pacific University’s Center for Marine Debris Research. “We hope that together, we can continue work to reduce the impact of plastics on our delicate ecosystems and economy.”

CMDR’s work is critical to understanding why and how waste ends up in our oceans, ultimately threatening our marine species and polluting our waters,” said Alex Schulze, Co-Founder and CEO at 4ocean. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with Hawaiʻi’s leading researchers – and budding scientists – through this partnership to solve this global plastic pollution crisis.”

Through the partnership, 4ocean will have exclusive access to the CMDR’s facilities, including the net shed where the CMDR team has been working since June 2020 to determine the origin, transport and ownership of more than 47 tons of marine debris from the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. 

4ocean will remove marine debris from Hawai’is shores and CMDR will research this same debris in a variety of research studies focused on marine plastics degradation, plastics sediment studies, and the sources, transport, fate, and impacts of plastic marine debris. CMDR has also provided 100 pounds of derelict fishing ghost gear to 4ocean to be produced into 4ocean products, which helps to fund the organization’s global ocean cleanup operations.

During the month of September, 4ocean will donate $1 to CMDR for every Hawaiian coral reef bracelet sold to support its work to investigate the sources of marine plastic pollution and find solutions to reach a trash-free ocean. For every bracelet sold, 4ocean will also pull a pound of trash from the ocean, rivers and coastlines.

To learn more about CMDR’s partnership with 4ocean, click here.