Coca-Cola plays its part in plastics fight with ‘reverse’ vending machines

Coca-Cola plays its part in plastics fight with ‘reverse’ vending machines

Coca-Cola has teamed up with theme park operator Merlin Entertainments to launch a new breed of reverse vending machine, which offers discounts in exchange for plastic bottles over the summer.

It is hoped the tech will incentivise families to recycle after the soft drink giant commissioned research that established 64% of Britons would recycle while out and about if rewarded for their good deed.

To see if such sentiments translate in practice Coca-Cola will launch a trial scheme from 25 July to 19 October at Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland Windsor. Each will play host to an on-site reverse vending machine, which will issue a voucher for 50% off entry at 30 participating Merlin attractions in exchange for any 500ml plastic bottle – equivalent to a £30 saving when purchasing a day pass.

Jon Woods, general manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: “This is just one of the actions that we’re taking to play our part in achieving a World Without Waste. 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 launched its sustainable packaging strategy, which led to clearer on-pack recycling messaging on its bottles.

Brands are increasingly adopting a lead role in a fightback against plastic waste with the likes of Bacardi pledging removal of 1bn single-use plastic straws from general circulation by 2020.

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