London is a coastal city, linked to the ocean via the tidal River Thames. The ocean provides us with our weather, climate and the oxygen for every second breath we take and through the river, Londoners are connected to the ocean every day.
Sadly, the river takes a relentless flow of plastic from the city to the ocean where it damages habitats, kills marine life and slowly erodes the health of the ocean as it breaks down over thousands of years. Plastic water bottles are one of the most common items of plastic litter found in the river.
The #OneLess campaign has been leading the charge against ocean plastic pollution since 2016, focusing on the pervasive single-use plastic water bottle. #OneLess is tackling plastic pollution at source, cultivating a fundamental change in the way Londoners drink water – from plastic water bottles, to refilling.
#OneLess aims to transform London into a place where single-use bottled water is a thing of the past and where plastic waste is drastically reduced for the sake of the ocean.
London’s drinking fountains
In January 2018, #OneLess formed a partnership with the Mayor of London and fountain supplier MIW Water Cooler experts to install London’s first modern day network of drinking fountains across the city. Since then, the project has installed 28 drinking fountains across 11 London boroughs.
The project has been a huge success, with the fountains dispensing enough water to save 155,000 single-use plastic water bottles in less than a year. The project has also inspired others to take action, including a commitment from the Mayor of London to install a further 100 drinking fountains across the city.
Thames bottle monitoring programme
#OneLess is working with project partners and citizen scientists to deepen our understanding of the extent of plastic bottle pollution in the River Thames through our science based Thames bottle monitoring programme.
Since April 2016, #OneLess have collected and removed more than 60,000 single-use plastic bottles from along the River Thames, of which nearly 50% of the categorised bottles were water bottles.
Hello London, Goodbye Ocean Plastic iniTIative
‘Hello London, Goodbye Ocean Plastic’ is a campaign to raise awareness about the alternatives to plastic bottled water in London and showcase the visionaries who provide them.
#OneLess have teamed up with some of London’s leading visitor attractions, popular destinations and events to encourage Londoners and tourists to drink water the London way and stop using plastic water bottles.
#OneLess pioneer network
The #OneLess pioneer network is a growing community of organisations leading the charge against ocean plastic pollution by taking action to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastic bottled water in London.
Pioneer network members gain access to #OneLess events specifically designed to help overcome challenges, whilst also connecting and learning from others.
The #OneLess initiative is led by the Zoological Society of London, Forum for the Future, the International Programme on the State of the Ocean and the Thames Estuary Partnership as part of the Marine CoLABoration. Find out more about #OneLess on their website and more about how we developed this experiment here.