Our Pledge to Reduce Single-Use Plastic

Recognising the detrimental effect of high levels of plastic waste in our oceans and the wider environment, members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) have committed to do what they can to address this major environmental concern. Colchester Zoo has signed a pledge to reduce the levels of plastic being used on our premises and to encourage staff and visitors to commit to reducing single-use plastic in their everyday lives.

– To work to reduce wherever possible the level of plastic within our site in a manner that is appropriate for our location and situation
– To work with members of the public to increase awareness of the situation surrounding the level of plastic in our environment and contribute to positive behaviour change to reduce those levels
– To work with their staff to increase awareness of the situation and contribute to positive behaviour change to reduce levels of plastic

Colchester Zoo’s teams have been working hard to reduce the amount of one-use plastic products sold on our site or reaching our site from our suppliers.


From March 2022 we will be selling Re:Water – The world’s first 100% recycled aluminium water bottle which comes filled and can then be re-used and re-filled again and again to help stop plastic waste. The bottle also keeps the water inside cooler and fresher for longer so you won’t be wasting water either!

Visit their website for more information HERE

We have eliminated the use of plastic straws and cutlery around our site, now offering paper straws and Birchwood cutlery, and changed our takeaway food containers to a Vegware product made from sugar palm. Our Ribena and Shaken Udder children’s drinks now also come with paper and not plastic straws.

Read more about Vegware HERE

We are also working to reduce the number of plastic sauce sachets used, switching to larger sauce dispensers instead, and to remove UHT/whole milk jiggers in our outlets in favour of milk offered to our customers in jugs.
We are also working to reduce single use plastic beverage bottles or increase their recyclable content. We sell One Water which comes in cartons made from sustainable paperboard from FSC approved forests which are 100% recyclable and, as we refurbish our catering outlets, we are transferring to soft drinks available on draft rather than in plastic bottles.

Read more about One Water HERE
Rather than using bubble wrap to post out our shop orders, we have now purchased a new recyclable hive wrap. HiveWrap is a 100% recyclable and biodegradable protective paper wrap which is a sustainable alternative to foam and bubble wrap.

Read more about HiveWrap HERE

We are also working with our suppliers to reduce the plastic wrapping they supply our bespoke retail products in, for instance our jewellery is delivered in baskets that return to the supplier monthly and our magnets and key rings are not packaged in small plastic bag.
As well as reducing one-use plastic products, we are ultimately also working to reduce the use and sale of plastic across the site in general, or where plastic is part of the product, to increase the recyclable material that the product is made from, for instance our Calico Cottage sweets have recyclable packaging.

Read more about Calico Cottage HERE
We have are introduced new soft toy ranges such as the Ecokin range in our Outpost Gift Shop as a sustainable option, this brand uses recycled plastic bottles as a fibre filling, embroidered eyes and nose instead of plastic, recycled tags and biodegradable packing.

Read more about Ecokin HERE

We are also have an our Keel Eco Soft toy range of products that have soft stitched not plastic eyes, again to help reduce the amount of plastic used in our toys and gifts.

Read more about Keel Eco Soft HERE
Between August 2019 and present, Colchester Zoo has been using concentrated cleaning chemicals in our catering facilities. This reduces the need for ‘ready to use’ plastic bottles and reduces the risk of these potentially reaching landfill in the future. Over this period, Colchester Zoo has used 67,800 shots of chemicals, so if the zoo was using ready to use bottles, this is a saving of 67,596 empty bottles!

We are committed to continuing working towards our pledge and reducing our use of plastic around our site. If you would like to learn more about the potential for zoos to reduce plastic, please look HERE.

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