Coca-cola Continues Partnership with Merlin Theme Parks to Encourage On-the-go Recycling

  • Coca-Cola Great Britain has partnered with Merlin Entertainments to offer a 50% discount at the UK’s best-known attractions in exchange for empty plastic bottles
  • The initiative, which launched in 2018, has been extended to more attractions this year in response to positive consumer feedback and demand 

As part of the business’ commitment to help drive a robust circular economy in Great Britain, Coca-Cola GB has announced that its recycling partnership with Merlin Entertainment will be continuing over the summer – following its initial launch in 2018.  The programme will see visitors rewarded for using specifically designed Coca-Cola reverse vending machines, offering 50% off entry at Merlin Entertainments in exchange for recycling an empty plastic bottle.

Launching from 8th July 2019, the 23 machines will be available at leading UK Merlin attractions, including Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park Resort, Chessington World of Adventures Resort and the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort. Following popular demand, the reverse vending machines have also been rolled out to additional new sites this year, including SEA LIFE Blackpool and Warwick Castle Resort.

In a further push to reduce packaging waste, Coca-Cola’s Freestyle machine will also be available at Thorpe Park Resort, offering consumers the chance to pre-load money onto an RFID chip in a refillable cup.

The partnership with Merlin Entertainments builds on several actions taken by Coca-Cola GB and Coca-Cola European Partners, as part of the business’ sustainable packaging strategy launched in 2017, including the recent announcement to move glaceau smartwater to 100% recycled plastic bottles later this year, saving 3,100 tonnes of virgin plastic. In addition, the business continues to encourage people to recycle its packaging through social media, advertising and the inclusion of messaging to ‘Please recycle me’ on its plastic bottles, as well as announcing plans to move to 50% recycled plastic across the entire range next year. 

Sandra Hazel, Group Head of Being a Force for Good at Merlin Entertainments, comments: “We are delighted to extend this initiative after great success in 2018. We care about recycling and know that our customers do too. This partnership is a great way to work together to protect our planet and is just one of the initiatives we are invested in to increase recycling at our attractions.”

Leendert den Hollander, Vice President & General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners, 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 will be in place until 17th October 2019 at Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park Resort, Chessington World of Adventures Resort and the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort and until 31st March 2020 at all other participating attractions.