Coca-Cola and Merlin Entertainments extend on-the-go plastic recycling initiative
Coca-Cola Great Britain has announced it has extended a project to place onsite reverse vending machines for plastic bottles at major UK attractions including Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park, and Legoland Windsor, after a trial collected more than 26,000 bottles last year.
Between 25 July and 19 October last year, Coca-Cola GB and Merlin Entertainments placed reverse vending machines at attractions, enabling visitors to recycle any 500ml plastic bottle to receive a 50% discount voucher. During the 2018 trial, more than 26,000 bottles were exchanged for vouchers.
From this week (8 July), 23 machines will be available at Merlin attractions, including Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland Windsor. Additional machines have also been rolled out at SeaLife Blackpool and Warwick Castle Resort.
Coca-Cola European Partners’ general manager and vice president Leendert den Hollander said: “Through the bold action plan outlined as part of our sustainable packaging strategy – This is Forward – we’re determined to make recycling on-the-go easier for consumers and lead the way towards a robust circular economy in Great Britain.
“Ultimately, we want to reach the point where 100% of our packaging is collected, reused or recycled – and where none of it ends up as litter in our streets, parks or in the oceans. Our continued partnership with Merlin Entertainments forms an important part of this, as we seek to reward and recognise people for recycling their used plastic bottles – and encourage others who may not be actively recycling to follow suit.”
The reverse vending machines enable automated collecting, sorting and handling of returned or used plastic bottles for recycling or reuse. As a reward, Coca-Cola GB is offering 50% discount vouchers off entries to 30 Merlin-owned attractions. The vouchers equate to savings of around £27 when purchasing a Merlin attraction day pass – far higher than the original cost of the plastic bottle.
Merlin Entertainments joins the likes of Morrisons, Iceland and Download, Latitude and Reading and Leeds festivals in hosting reverse vending machines.
In 2018, Merlin Entertainments announced it was sourcing 100% renewably generated electricity across its UK attractions, after signing a supply deal with green power firm Ecotricity.
The Legoland, Sea Life and Madame Tussauds operator has launched a review into the sale and distribution of single-use plastic items across its global estate, pledging a removal of plastic straws from its operations by the end of 2018.