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From talking to action. What is my payment card made of?

Talk about sustainable and responsible business has been circulating for a long time. However, now more than ever, consumers want to see the concrete action and results from that talk. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the product cycle they consume. How and from what were they made? How will they be recycled at the end of their lifecycle?


Let’s take a look at a payment card. One of the major drawbacks to cards from an environmental perspective is the plastic they’re made of. The most common card plastic is PVCA/PVC (polyvinyl chloride acetate), which is far from being environmentally friendly. It is about 40 percent petroleum, 60 percent chlorine and water-resistant. It is not biodegradable. Burning plastic releases harmful gases into the atmosphere. It takes more than 400 years for it to break down.


One of the alternatives currently available is a biodegradable plastic known as polylactic acid (PLA). PLA is a sustainable plastic substitute made with renewable bio-sourced resources such as corn, plant leaves, and other renewable sources. It is non-petroleum-based and non-toxic if incinerated. There are other alternatives as well, such as Ocean Card, which is made either partially or completely from recycled plastic from the sea; Wooden cards from  recycled wood ; even Metal cards are easier  to recycle compared to PVC. These alternatives are better than PVC cards, but also they have as usual their own pluses and minuses. The best way would be to do bigger step -  to use only electronical card downloaded to you mobile wallet.


If we will pay attention to areas we all are working or areas we are using products and services  It’s like solving the issue drop by drop. We should not consider a problem too small to be solved. Many small things together become big.


Ask your bank about the plastic of the cards you are using. Be the one who initiates the change!

And, of course, ask yourself, do you really need physical cards? A physical card is not just plastic, it’s also the paper and everything else necessary to have it delivered. Ask your bank if it is possible to choose only an electronic card.

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