A collaborative experiment

tracking the movement of plastic bottles

in the ocean.

Message in a bottle

On World Ocean Day, alongside a collaboration of scientific institutions and ocean groups from around the world, #OneLess launched a new experiment to monitor the movement of plastic bottles in the ocean. 

In the first project of its kind to be undertaken in the Atlantic and open ocean, seven bottles fitted with GPS trackers were released at various points along the south coast of the UK. 

Designed to mimic a single-use plastic drink bottle, the tracking devices are gathering vital data to help scientists understand how plastic moves across the ocean’s surface and the potential risks plastic poses to marine wildlife along the way. The data will be fed into ocean observing systems and used to ground-truth ocean current observations and modelling.

The launch of the tracking experiment was designed to coincide with World Ocean Day (8 June) and the G7 Summit in Cornwall (11 – 13 June). The seven bottles were named after the G7 nations, as we call on every leader to #listentotheocean and prevent climate breakdown.


Follow the bottles as they journey across the ocean.

Project partners

The project is a collaborative effort between the University of Exeter, the University of Plymouth, #OneLess, OneOcean and the Zoological Society of London.