We have investigated a Z-scheme based on a ZnO/Pt/CdZnS photocatalyst, active in the presence of a complex medium composed of acetic acid and benzyl alcohol, the effects of which on the catalyst stability and performance are studied. Transmission electron microscopy images showed uniformly dispersed sub-nanometer Pt particles. Inductively coupled plasma and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses suggested that Pt is sandwiched between ZnO and CdZnS. An apparent quantum yield (AQY) of 34% was obtained over the [ZnO]4/1 wt %Pt/CdZnS system at 360 nm, 2.5-fold higher than that of 1%Pt/CdZnS (14%). Furthermore, an AQY of 16% was observed using [ZnO]4/1 wt %Pt/CdZnS, which was comparable to that of 1 wt %Pt/CdZnS (10%) at 460 nm. On the basis of these results, we proposed a charge transfer mechanism, which was confirmed through femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. Finally, we identified the two main factors that affected the stability of the catalyst, which were the sacrificial reagent and the acidic pH.