Message in a Bottle up for Object of the Year

Message in a Bottle nominated for Object of the Year

On 16th July 2021, two teenagers fishing for Halibut off Newfoundland threw a plastic bottle into the sea. Inside, they put a photograph of themselves and a note. The note asked whomever found it to get in touch.

On the 7th January 2022, the note and bottle were found at Sandymouth Beach, north of Bude, by a local man. The bottle was in perfect condition, as was the note inside and the two teenagers were contacted. The bottle and note were then donated to The Castle Heritage Centre in Bude, where they were put on display.

The Heritage Centre in Bude already has a well-established interactive display about climate change and the threat of plastics to our oceans and the bottle fitted well with this narrative. The plastic bottle hadn’t degraded, despite its long and turbulent journey. Had it remained in the sea, it would have decomposed slowly, releasing micro plastics.

And now the bottle and its contents has been nominated for the Object of the Year at Cornwall Museums Partnership’s Heritage Awards, which this year is focusing on objects that tell climate stories.

“By displaying the bottle, we hope that people will learn from this story and gain a better understanding of the power of the tides and the indestructibility of plastics,” explained Janine King, BSTC’s Heritage Development Officer.

The Bude & Stratton Post ran an article about the find in January, and the story was also picked up by two local Canadian papers, who interviewed the teenagers. It seems from their responses that they were unaware of the environmental impact of their innocent actions and both were surprised at how far the bottle had travelled, “I forgot about it. It surprised me quite a bit when I saw that somebody found it,” “I was very surprised by how far it did go.”

The Object of the Year is decided by public vote and there are seven nominations within this category. You can read the story behind each object and vote for your favourite online at

Voting closes on 9 January, 2023.