"In 2015, Florida surfers Andrew Cooper and Alex Schulze embarked on a post-college trip to Bali in search of big waves. What they found were beaches buried in garbage. But the friends also came home with a big idea for a multimillion-dollar business to help clean the world's oceans.
A pollution solution
Cooper, 28, and Schulze, 27, first met as college students at Florida Atlantic University, where they both studied business and graduated in 2014. The following year, the two friends set off for a three-week surfing trip to Bali, Indonesia — an island in the Indian Ocean that's a mecca for the sport.
In addition to being popular with tourists, Indonesia is also second only to China among the world's biggest polluters. When Cooper and Schulze arrived, they were immediately struck by the massive pollution that chokes Bali's beaches with trash that washes up from the ocean." Pretty much right when we got [to the beach] the first thing we saw was an overwhelming amount of plastic," Cooper tells CNBC Make It. It was a vista strewn with everything from plastic bottles and bags to used food containers and other refuse."