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Cabinet Secretary launches plastic bottle reward scheme at Edinburgh Zoo

11/04/2018 in Edinburgh Zoo

Children and families were joined by Roseanna Cunningham MSP today to launch RZSS Edinburgh Zoo’s new plastic bottle reward scheme and Green Pawprints campaign.

Following the Scottish Government’s commitment to a national deposit return system for drinks containers, Edinburgh Zoo is the first public attraction in Scotland to operate a deposit reward scheme using a reverse vending machine to reduce waste and increase recycling.

To highlight the impact on the environment, the zoo is working alongside partners Have You Got the Bottle? and the Marine Conservation Society to encourage visitors to help fill a large rhino transportation crate with empty plastic bottles in return for ten pence per bottle.

Visiting on the zoo’s annual Wild about Scotland Day, supported by Clydesdale Bank and attended by six Scottish children’s charities, Ms Cunningham said, “Edinburgh Zoo has a long and distinguished history of environmental conservation work, so it is no surprise that it is leading the way for Scotland’s visitor attractions by encouraging and enabling the many thousands of patrons who visit the Zoo every year to recycle single use plastics. By becoming part of the solution rather than part of the problem, Edinburgh Zoo is helping the Scottish Government to achieve our ambition of reducing single use plastics and ensuring that as much as possible is recycled.
“We are taking firm action to achieve our aims by being the first UK administration to announce plans to ban the use of plastic stemmed cotton buds, and a commitment to the introduction of a deposit return scheme, amongst other things.”  

RZSS Chief Executive, Barbara Smith said, “Conservation and sustainability go hand in hand, so it is vital we play our part to highlight the importance of reducing our reliance on and the recycling of single-use plastics.

“Through our Green Pawprints campaign, we are engaging with visitors and helping to change behaviours, with our reverse vending machine and our use of Vegware in our eateries being fantastic examples. Everything from our straws to our plates and cutlery are made from plants, not plastic and are completely compostable, helping to reduce our carbon footprint.

“Our reverse vending machine is an exciting initiative which enables visitors to recycle their plastic bottles during their visit to the zoo.
“Sustainability is also at the heart of our Wild about Scotland outreach programme, which helps connect young people with nature, our amazing native species and the environment.”

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