One Less

Plastic water bottle in the ocean

#OneLess - the campaign to make London free of single-use plastic water bottles.

One Less logo

Plastic pollution is one of the major threats to the world’s ocean. A recent study showed that between 5.5 and 14.6 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean every year. Predictions are that if nothing changes, 2025 there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish in the ocean. 

A single-use plastic water bottle, made to be used once and then thrown away, will take 450 years to break down into plastic particles which themselves persist for hundreds of years in the ocean. In the UK we get through 13 billion plastic bottles each year – over 200 per person.

One less bottle in the ocean

The new #OneLess campaign, led by ZSL and partners in the Marine CoLABoration, is working to make London the first capital city to stop using single-use plastic bottles.

What you can do as an individual

  • Make a personal commitment to stop using single-use plastic water bottles, replacing these with a refillable bottle.
  • Make the #OneLess pledge - take a selfie with your favourite refillable bottle and tweet it #OneLess, @onelessbtl.
  • Ask the new London Mayor to make single-use plastic water bottles a priority issue.

What you can do as a business or organisation

  • Remove all single-use plastic water bottles from your offices and retail outlets.
  • Offer alternatives to single-use plastic water bottles, such as drinking fountains and boxed water, and encourage the use of refillable bottles.
  • Inspire your customers to make the #OneLess pledge.

Visit the #OneLess website

Plastic pollution by the Thames - Copyright Thames21
Plastic pollution by the Thames

The plastic problem

Right now, only 24% of the five million tonnes of plastic used in the UK each year is reused or recycled. This plastic breaks down into tiny toxic microplastic particles that act in the same way as microbeads, attracting and binding other pollutants and making themselves more toxic in the process.

While it floats and degrades, the plastic leaches marine-toxic chemicals into the water.

Plastic in all its forms is poisoning the ocean and killing marine wildlife. The vast majority of the plastic originates on land and is carried out to the ocean by air and water-ways such as the Thames. 

Building on the success of our 2015 Project Ocean campaign, in which Selfridges permanently stopped selling single-use plastic water bottles from its stores – making the switch to reusable bottles, free drinking fountains, and alternatively packaged water – ZSL and partners, are now taking it London-wide.

London is a coastal city, linked to the ocean by its river.  The Thames transports oxygen, water, clean air, fish, nutrients and weather from the ocean to the city to make it habitable and healthy. As Londoners, our lives are inextricably linked to the ocean. Through the Thames we breathe in the ocean every day. Making the switch from single-use to reusable makes sense for the good of London, the Thames, the ocean and the planet.

To find out more email

The Marine CoLABoration

The Marine CoLABoration is a group of nine NGOs with wide-ranging interests and areas of expertise working together to increase the impact of solutions to ocean degradation by making a broader range of values - not just short-term economic gain - count in decision-making.

It does so by bringing together experts from diverse fields, creating a ‘laboratory’ space to think differently, test new approaches, learn from the results, and then share them widely to influence change.

The CoLAB was set up in 2015. 


One Less project partners

Plastic pollution is one of the major threats to the world’s ocean. The UK alone goes through 13 billion plastic bottles a year!

But you can be a part of the solution. Make the pledge to go single-use plastic water bottle free and tweet a selfie with your refillable water bottle and the #OneLess hashtag to @OneLessBTL. Join Londoners and people from all walks of life to ensure there is one less bottle in the ocean.