Get Half-Price Entry to Theme Parks
by Recycling your Plastic Bottles

Around 13 billion plastic bottles are sold each year in the UK, and only 435 of these are recycled, while the rest end up in landfill, in incinerators or in our oceans. Globally, around a million plastic bottles are bought every minute, which equals a lot of plastic that is going into our oceans, harming marine life and harming the environment as a whole.

The state of our oceans

There are already an estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean, and if we keep discarding them at the current rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.

UK theme parks step up

Some of Britain’s most popular theme parks are giving visitors a great incentive to recycle their plastic bottles.

Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, and Legoland Windsor are all taking part in the scheme which will see customers rewarded with a half-price discount when they recycle a plastic bottle.

All throughout the summer, customers who put a 500ml drinks bottle into one of the park’s reverse vending machines will get a voucher for half-price entry.

The initiative came about after Merlin Entertainments, the owner of 30 of the UK’s top tourist attractions including Madame Tussauds, joined with Coca Cola to offer customers better incentives for recycling. Coca Cola carried out some research that found that 64% of people would recycle more of their ‘on the go’ litter if they could get an instant incentive.

Merlin Entertainments said it wants to use its brands as a ‘force for good’ and added that they are always looking for ways to raise awareness of environmental issues, as they’re a responsible business and an advocate for marine conservation.

The General Manager of Coca Cola for the UK and Ireland said that the company wants to reward people for doing the right thing and they hope to encourage people to recycle who otherwise wouldn’t have. He added that the key is to remind people that their empty plastic bottle is actually something of value. They want all of their bottles to be recycled and not to end up as litter. The initiative will run until mid-October.

Deposit return: an extra weapon in the fight against plastic pollution

The theme park recycling initiative comes after Michael Gove announced earlier this year that a deposit return scheme would be introduced in the UK. The details are still being finalised, but it’s a big step towards committing to reduce plastic pollution. The scheme is part of the government’s 25 year plan to wage war on plastic and to stop it from damaging the environment.

Scotland already has plans to roll out a deposit return scheme across the country, and when England introduces a scheme, it will bring the country into line with other countries who already have successful deposit return schemes in operation, like Lithuania, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Croatia. Globally, 10 states in the US, 8 Canadian provinces, and the South of Australia all have schemes in place. The schemes are a huge success, especially in Germany and Lithuania, which have 97% and 93% recycling rates respectively.

British supermarkets do their bit

In May, the supermarket Iceland became the first in the UK to install a reverse-vending machine in one of their stores, which gives customers 10p discount vouchers for each plastic bottle they deposit. The initiative is being trialled for 6 months in one of their Fulham stores and if it’s a success, there’s the potential for it to be rolled out across the country. Morrisons have since launched their own trial, and the Co-op has launched a deposit return scheme at music festivals across the country.