Merlin UK attractions to offer half price entry in exchange for empty plastic bottles

July 25, 2018, 3:43 AM

From: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/25/uk-theme-parks-to-offer-half-price-entry-in-exchange-for-used-plastic-bottles

>>>Visitors to some of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions are to be offered half-price entry in exchange for used plastic drinks bottles, as part of a trial starting on Wednesday which gives instant incentives for recycling.

>>>In a tie-up between theme park operator Merlin and drinks giant Coca-Cola, a series of so-called “reverse vending machines” will be installed outside the entrances of Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland.

>>>In a bid to boost flagging recycling rates and tackle plastic litter, the machines will reward users depositing any 500ml plastic bottle with half-price discount vouchers which can be redeemed at all 30 Merlin attractions in the UK.

Dealing with the plastic problem is very much on trend in the U.K. - plastic bags can’t be given free anymore, plastic ear swans are banned in Scotland, bans on plastic straws seem imminent (with many large chains already transitioning away), as well as an extra charge for take-away cups (the ones that seem to be paper, but are actually a paper-plastic mix) voluntarily being adopted (again with legislation expected).

That said, half price vouchers for Merlin attractions are not hard to find, one only needs to take a visit to PoundLand to find multiple snacks/drinks/cereal boxes offering an equivalent deal.

Replies (1)

Edited: July 26, 2018, 6:54 AM

Sounds like a marketing action, rather then anything else.
Remember Thorpe, Alton Towers etc... have had their part in ride accidents... Merlin was blamed all over the UK (not much bad reactions outside of the UK) , so playing the environmental angel could soothe the memories...

I still wait to see parks ban their OWN sales of trash producing refreshments. It's not by putting a reward marketing machine before the entrance, that you're doing anything usefull inside the park. I discussed the option of totally waste producing free catering options, on an EAS catering-discussion seminar, several years ago. I was amased to hear from operators they had never-ever thought in that direction before....
Waste free means : you either sit down and get served exclusively in glass-&-earthenware, as it once was "worldwide". OR, you have snacks to walk, served in eadible container. The examples already exist, and are getting introduced in the meanwhile in several parks ! It's no fiction.

Cheers.

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