Coca-Cola Great Britain and Coca-Cola European Partners have partnered with Merlin Entertainments to offer 50 percent discounts at some of the UK’s best-known attractions in exchange for empty plastic drink bottles. Specially created reverse vending machines will be on-site at four of Merlin’s leading attractions and will instantly reward those who deposit their used bottles between July 25th and October 19th, 2018.
“Our CafeCrush™ reverse vending machines reward people for recycling. Users simply insert an empty plastic bottle, it’s crushed and then they receive an incentive,” explained Jon Dormer, Managing Director at Unisan UK, the supplier of the reverse vending machines.
“The way the machine works means the bottles are not contaminated by other waste and so, are perfect for recycling,” Dormer added. “Also, because they are crushed, reducing waste volume by up to 90 per cent, more bottles can be stored and therefore less transportation is needed to get them to recycling facilities – a win for consumers and the environment.”
The trial is the first in the country to offer people a more valuable reward than the original purchasing price of the plastic drinks bottle they recycle. The vouchers patrons receive will be redeemable for 50 percent off entry at 30 participating Merlin attractions – including Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and LEGOLAND Windsor – which equates to a saving of around £27 when buying a Merlin attraction day pass.
The move follows research by YouGov on behalf of Coca-Cola Great Britain that revealed 64 percent of Brits would recycle more on-the-go if they were rewarded instantly for their actions.
“We want to reward people for doing the right thing by recycling their bottles and hope to encourage some people who wouldn’t otherwise have done so. Through this exciting new trial with Merlin Entertainments we hope to remind people how valuable their empty plastic bottle is,” said Leendert den Hollander, VP and General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners. “All of our bottles can be recycled and we want to get as many of them back as possible so they can be turned into new bottles and not end up as litter.”
“This is just one of the actions that we’re taking,” den Hollander continued. “We buy more recycled plastic in the UK than any other company and we are in the process of doubling the recycled plastic in all our bottles from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2020. We’re also running television campaigns encouraging people to recycle, putting clear recycling messages across all of our packs and we’re supportive of new interventions, such as deposit return schemes, to see if they improve recycling rates.”
Last year, Coca-Cola Great Britain and Coca-Cola European Partners launched their sustainable packaging strategy in Great Britain alongside a global goal to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one it sells by 2030. Since its launch, Coca-Cola has introduced clearer on-pack recycling messaging on its bottles, and aired a dedicated recycling television commercial called ‘Love Story’ which the company says has reached over 30 million people. Coca-Cola Great Britain and Coca-Cola European Partners also continue to work closely with UK and Scottish governments to introduce a well-designed deposit return scheme and other ways to increase recovery and recycling rates. Coca-Cola is a member of the UK Plastics Pact and the US’ Closed Loop Fund.