City to Sea urges people to ditch single-use plastic

'Hydration station' was an Ocean competition winner.

City to Sea: animated film shows fish trapped in a bottle
City to Sea: animated film shows fish trapped in a bottle

City to Sea and 23red are encouraging people to use refill stations and reusable water bottles in an out-of-home campaign that turns three full-motion screens into "hydration stations" as the environmental campaigning organisation aims to get people to ditch single-use-plastic water bottles.

The screens feature a looped "waiting mode" animated film, showing a captive fish trapped inside a plastic bottle floating in a polluted ocean. The screens carry a request to passers-by to use the water fountain positioned in front of the screen. When the fountain is used, it triggers the release of the fish by making the bottle it is trapped in disappear. Once free, the fish thanks the user and swims away.

The fountains are attended by staff with tablets connected to the screens via Ocean’s Wi-Fi network, with a purpose-built app triggering the on-screen animation, which resets after each refill is complete. The screens also keep track of how many plastic bottles have been stopped from reaching waterways.

Jo Morley, head of marketing and campaigns at City to Sea, said: "'Refill' is a campaign that everyone can get involved with – whether you’re an individual, small business, or international retailer. We know people want to help stop plastic pollution and the 'Refill' campaign puts the power to do just that in people’s hands. If just one in 10 Brits refilled once a week, we’d stop 340 million plastic bottles a year at source." 

City of Sea's ad was a winner in Ocean’s 2018 Digital Creative Competition, in association with Campaign, in the Ocean for Oceans category

The campaign kicked off in Manchester at The Printworks on 1 June. It will run at The Birmingham Media Eyes on 5 June, which is World Environmental Day, and in London's Canary Wharf on 19 June to mark National Refill Day.


Become a member of Campaign from just £88 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a member

What is Campaign AI?

Our new premium service offering bespoke monitoring reports for your company.

Find out more

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content