Plastic bottle, believed to be 65 years old, washes up on Jurassic Coast

One of the oldest examples of plastic packaging ever to be recovered on a beach, has been found at Chapman’s Pool near Swanage during a regular litter pick.

Anti-plastic pollution campaigner Oly Rush was carrying out a beach sweep along the world famous Jurassic Coast in Dorset, when he discovered the plastic Doby washing up bottle, thought to date from the mid-1950s.

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In 2020, Oly completed a 96 mile swim along the Jurassic Coast, finishing at Studland, in order to raise funds and awareness of the damage that litter pollution is doing to our planet.

Doby washing up bottle
Oly Rush

The 1950s washing up bottle found at Chapman’s Pool near Swanage

By Royal Appointment

The vintage container was spotted among seaweed on the beach, with its writing still legible including the ‘By Royal Appointment’ crest. It also boasts that it is the ‘big new economy size’ of ‘1½ pints’.

Immediately, Oly realised it was an ‘old girl’. Further investigations later revealed that Doby washing up liquid was produced by Thawpit Ltd of Manchester and the top of the bottle had to be pierced so the liquid could be squeezed out.

It’s such a rare find that there is an example of a similar bottle at the Museum of Design in Plastics, based at the Arts University Bournemouth. It’s estimated to be around 65 years old.

Doby washing up bottle
Oly Rush

Even the printed writing on the plastic bottle has survived the last 65 years

“Just goes to show how long plastics last”

Oly said:

“This just goes to show how long plastics last. They are awful for the environment and while I’ve pulled tons of the stuff from local beaches, this is the oldest thing I’ve ever found.

“Whether it has been in the water all the time or has come out of a cliff I’m not sure, but either way it wasn’t doing any good.

“If we can all do a little bit to cut down on plastic waste then slowly the environment will improve and it’ll be better for us all and for wildlife.”

Oly completes Jurassic Coast swim

Oly Rush in Studland, after completing his 96 mile swim along the Jurassic Coast in 2020

Mammoth challenges

Since the success of Oly’s Jurassic Coast swim, which raised £10,000, he’s gone on to complete other mammoth challenges. He added:

“Last year I swam around the Isle of Wight in 15 hours and raised £12,000 for three charities.

“To raise more awareness and money I am swimming around Grand Cayman in May.

“It is 65 miles and will take me 30 hours, but I hope to raise as much as possible for Plastic Free Cayman.”

Watch when Oly finds his bottle

Further information

  • Details of Oly’s ‘Plastic Free Cayman’ swim can be found on the Project Planet website
  • More about the washing up bottle collection at the Museum of Design in Plastics is on its website
Doby washing up bottle
Oly Rush

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