As the sun comes up over the mountains of Haiti, the 4ocean Crew is busy getting ready to take on the challenge of pulling plastic pollution from the ocean and coastlines surrounding our 4ocean cleanup facility in Luly Cotes de Peche, Haiti. Located about 15 miles (25 km) northwest of Port-au-Prince on the northern shore of Port-au-Prince Bay, this is an area where the currents converge and lines of plastic can be seen in the water daily. And when the winds blow, this plastic is pushed to the coast where it piles up on shore.
You can also check out this collection of photos taken by the 4ocean Haiti Crew that pretty much sums it up.
First, they put together a gameplan for the day's cleanups, brief the captains and crew, get the boats ready and head out to get the job done!
Some of the vessels head to clean up open water...
...while other vessels head toward coastlines that need cleaning.
The plastic and trash are put into our 4ocean supersacks and loaded onto the vessels for transport back to headquarters. Check out this amazing before and after video of a beach we recently cleaned.
Once back at headquarters, it's time to unload.
All of the supersacks head to the scales so we can get an accurate weight for our TrashTracker.
Then trash is separated from recyclables and recyclables are sorted by plastic-type. Keeping the like colors together also makes recycling easier.
Once the trash and plastic have been sorted, it's all taken to the compactor where it's bailed for transport.
Once the plastic and trash are bailed, it's time to clean the vessels, kick back for a bit, and get ready to do it all over again.
Man, what a day! It's tiring just to write about it. But our 4ocean Haiti Crew is out there doing it seven days a week with such pride, determination, and effort that it really can't be put into words. Seeing how far they've come and how much of a difference they've made in their community in just one short year is nothing short of amazing. 4ocean Haiti, YOU ROCK!!
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Let the incredible 4ocean Crew down in Haiti know how much you appreciate their work in the comments below!
The ocean plastic crisis may seem like a relatively recent phenomenon with how much attention it's received over the last decade. However, this situation extends decades beyond modern-day — and the inception of plastic itself stretches even further. Understanding the history of ocean plastic pollution gives us a glimpse into how this material became so pervasive and how we might learn from past behaviors.