25 July 2018 by Joshua Doherty

Coca-Cola launches UK reverse vending scheme

Coca-Cola has teamed up with Merlin Entertainments – which owns a string of UK attractions including Thorpe Park and LEGOLAND – to provide half price entry in exchange for used plastic drink bottles.

Coca-Cola reverse vending

Visitors are invited to bring and recycle any 500ml plastic bottle via an on-site reverse vending machine

Coca-Cola Great Britain announced the scheme earlier today (July 25), which it says follows research it conducted which revealed that 64% of people “would recycle more on-the-go if they were rewarded instantly for their actions”.

The summer trial will begin today and run until 19 October 2018. Visitors are invited to bring and recycle any 500ml plastic bottle via an on-site reverse vending machine.

The machines will be installed at four of Merlin’s leading attractions and will instantly reward those who deposit their empty bottles with a voucher to receive 50% off entry at 30 participating Merlin attractions including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and LEGOLAND Windsor.

Coca-Cola says this is the first trial of its kind, and it added that if offers a “valuable reward” as a 50% off voucher can be worth up to £27.


The machines used in the scheme are called CafeCrush and are owned by recycling solutions company Unisan.

Unisan say that once deposited, the bottles are then crushed, and the fact they are “not contaminated by other waste” means they are “perfect for recycling”.

Jon Dormer, managing director at Unisan UK, said the machine is “a win” for both the consumer and the environment.

Coca-Cola reverse vending

Once deposited, the bottles are then crushed which the creators say reduces waste volume by up to 90%

Mr Dormer said: “The way the machine works means the bottles are not contaminated by other waste and so, are perfect for recycling. Also, because they are crushed, reducing waste volume by up to 90%, more bottles can be stored and therefore less transportation is needed to get them to recycling facilities – a win for consumers and the environment.”

‘Valuable’ material

Commenting on the scheme, Leendert den Hollander, vice president and general manager at Coca-Cola European Partners, said he hopes the scheme reminds people how valuable an empty plastic bottle is.

“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,” Mr den Hollander explained.

He added: “Through this exciting new trial with Merlin Entertainments we hope to remind people how valuable their empty plastic bottle is. 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”.

Mr den Hollander also added that the company is in the process of ensuring doubling the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50%  by 2020 and increasing its communications on recycling.

Sandra Hazel, head of force for good at Merlin Entertainments, added: “This partnership with Coca-Cola Great Britain demonstrates our shared ambition to use our brands for good. We’re constantly looking for ways to raise awareness and help contribute to a better environment.”


We’re proud to have supported Coca-Cola in their #worldwithoutwaste campaign by providing CafeCrush™ – the UK’s smallest footprint reverse vending a.k.a recycle & reward machine http://www.unisanuk.com

Posted by Emma Watson on August 15, 2018

To post your comment, please login or signup.

Login Sign up