Canadian Plastics

Mastercard launches new sustainable cards made from biodegradable, ocean-bound and recyclable plastics

The sustainable cards produced by Mastercard are available to consumers in more than a dozen countries, with over 60 financial institutions issuing cards made from approved materials.

July 29, 2020   Canadian Plastics

Photo Credit: Stock.adobe

Mastercard has launched a new set of “sustainable” cards, using materials made from recyclable, bio-sourced, chlorine-free, degradable, and ocean plastics.

It follows a study conducted in May 2020 by the U.S.-based multinational, in which more than three-quarters of people said they are “very concerned” about the environment and feel companies should be doing more to address their impact on the planet.

About six million cards — typically made from PVC — are issued each year with an average lifespan of three to four years. After that they’re sent to landfill, where they contribute to the millions of tonnes of plastic that ends up in landfill and spills into the natural environment.

In a statement, Mastercard said its move into sustainable card manufacturing builds on its Greener Payments Partnership, which was set up in 2018 to establish environmental best practices and reduce first-use PVC plastic in card manufacturing. Materials being prioritised include PET, high-density polyethylene, wood and polylactic acid plastic.

“Our goal is simple: we want to help banks offer more eco-friendly cards to consumers, and we are taking concrete steps to bring about that change,” said Ajay Bhall, Mastercard’s president of cyber and intelligence. “This way, everyone benefits – it’s better for the environment, it’s better for business and it meets evolving consumer needs.”

The sustainable cards produced by Mastercard are available to consumers in more than a dozen countries, with over 60 financial institutions issuing cards made from approved materials, including Santander, Crédit Agricole and DBS Bank in Taiwan.

Mastercard has created a directory of sustainable card materials with information on where to source them. It hopes this will help other banks make the swift transition.

Mastercard’s announcement comes on the heels of Visa announcing last month that it plans make cards from recycled materials too. The Earthwise High Content Card will be made with up to 98 per cent upcycled plastic, in collaboration with CPI Card Group.


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