Merlin Entertainments, one of the world’s leading visitor attraction operators, has announced that it is to phase out the use of plastic straws within all of its owned attractions worldwide by the end of the year. Merlin, whose brands include LEGOLAND, SEA LIFE and Madame Tussauds, will only provide an alternative where it is either a requirement for the product or upon visitor request at all food and beverage outlets throughout its estate.
Chessington World of Adventures Resort in the UK was one of the first attractions within Merlin to remove plastic straws completely from its park and hotels in time for the start of its 2018 peak season and from the 1st November this year, all plastic straws and plastic bags across Merlin’s attractions in Australia and New Zealand have been eliminated.
The move comes as Merlin reviews single-use plastic within its operations as part of its efforts to reduce unnecessary packaging and environmentally harmful consumables from its retail stores and food and beverage outlets.
Initiatives already underway to remove plastic from its business include:
- the removal of single-use plastic water bottles from company offices, replacing them with water coolers or similar refreshment devices;
- continuing to work with the global supply chain to remove unnecessary plastic packaging from shops;
- providing opportunities for staff and guests to become involved in closing the recycling “Loop” at its attractions, spearheaded by SEA LIFE Brighton’s engagement project, as well as helping them consider behaviour change in their everyday lives; and
- support its adopted charity, the SEA LIFE TRUST, in campaigning for greater protection over our marine environment and its creatures.
Nick Varney, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re committed at Merlin to reduce our impact on the environment wherever we operate. Like many of our guests, we are concerned about the negative environmental impact associated with the disposal of plastic straws and we have an even deeper reason for taking action across our business given our SEA LIFE teams champion these issues on a daily basis. It is something we can act on immediately as we continue to assess how we minimise the use of plastics within our business.”
Andy Bool, Head of SEA LIFE TRUST, said: “We regularly see the direct impact plastic has on marine life through our own Seal Sanctuary and our wider marine conservation work across the world, so it is excellent to see Merlin taking positive steps towards eliminating unnecessary single use plastic like straws from its business and we welcome their commitment to doing so.”