When 49-year-old widower Craig Sullivan decided to dive back into the dating pool, he went with what he thought was a grand romantic gesture over swiping right on Tinder: The Scot took a week in mid-July and tossed 2,000 message-carrying bottles into waters around the United Kingdom, in the hopes that "you might open one and read a message," he says. But rather than the romantic missives he'd hoped for, many of the responses he received were upset that he was littering, reports CBS News. "Please reconsider putting all of these into the sea, lots of us spend hours picking up beach," read one woman's letter, while another suggested he join "a big beach clean, you may pick up a hobby & meet someone there too?"
"The abuse was not very good," says Sullivan. "In several instances it got out of hand. It was never my intent to harm the environment." And though one complainant asked that "we get this half-wit arrested," Scottish environmental officials tell the BBC that Sullivan has stopped and that they have no plans to take action. And all is not lost, as Sullivan says he's actually gotten 50 responses from women more interested in dating him than giving him an environmental lecture. And "Bottle Man" has gotten no small amount of publicity out of the controversy, notes the Scottish Sun, which chortles about Sullivan's quest for a "missus in a bottle." Sullivan writes on Medium that, yes, he was inspired by the Police song—along with this piece a dying woman wrote about her husband. (Read more message in a bottle stories.)