The world is listening to the ocean plastic issue – as revealed by the stories shared from the #OneLess pioneer network during a workshop in February 2019. Thirty-seven members convened to share significant moments and achievements of the #OneLess campaign so far, and the day showcased the real and tangible outcomes the campaign is achieving to eliminate single-use plastic water bottles across London.

Over the last couple of years, there has been a groundswell in energy around the plastics agenda, and how we can act to prevent ocean plastic pollution. This includes changes in policy and practice, mass sign-up of businesses and organisations with #OneLess pledges, and single-use-plastic-free councils and retailers. This highlights the value of the #OneLess campaign in making tap and refillable water the everyday norm.

We have also seen the return of the fountain in London. Once previously discarded, water fountains are popping up across London in prominent public places as a real sign of change. This is helping to dilute the stigma of tap water. For example, the most popular story shared on the day was also the simplest: ordering tap water in restaurants because it is the ‘right’ thing to do, and shaking off connotations that it is being sparing. This is also one of the most widely applicable actions that all Londoners can take.

These stories show how the momentum is building in infrastructure and behaviour change. Excitingly, this demonstrates there is a real buzz around the ocean and its value. It is becoming cool to adapt and trailblaze solutions to solving the growing threat of ocean plastic. Stories were shared from a host of retailers, businesses and organisations switching away from single-use water bottles and making the transition to eradicate all single-use plastic altogether. Some of these examples were against the odds in terms of challenging entrenched practices and values around the business case for action. What’s more, that examples were shared of varying scale, from local greengrocers to larger and regional-scale retailers, organisations and businesses, shows the widespread traction of #OneLess and others working on the issue.


26 March 2019


The #OneLess team

Shifting norms around single-use plastic to free and refillable alternatives was the most valued change #OneLess is contributing to, as voted for by stakeholders. Stories were shared that showcase the real influence of consumer pressure in influencing others. Overall, the above stories show real promise for further change in the future, and the value of a #OneLess pioneer network model to bring about societal change. This is why we encourage you to continue your amazing work in supporting the #OneLess campaign, and to push for the shift to sustainable hydration that we so urgently need, for the sake of London – and the ocean!