Why is this only the first step towards the recyclable bank card of the future?
Earlier this month we learned that American Express has redesigned its classic Green Card to contain recycled plastic gathered from the ocean and thus reducing plastic ocean debris.
The programme is part of broad organisational move to address environmental responsibility, where Amex promises to donate nearly $2 million in grants for educational programming and efforts to clean up oceans and rivers.
Whilst we see great value in using recycled plastic and therefore cutting down the use of virgin plastic, there is more work to be done developing recycled plastic payment cards.
“When it comes to plastic bank cards recycling you need to consider the issue of the chip and magnetic stripe embedded in billions of cards - in addition to the recycled plastic,” said Matt Payne, Managing Director of Made by Oomph, which this year rolled out hotel keys made from wood pulper, to reduce the use of plastic in the hospitality industry.
"Because of security concerns, it’s unlikely banks can make effective cards from 100% recycled plastic or that today’s EMV-compatible cards will be easy to fully recycle," Payne said.
“The best option would be to develop a card made of natural materials so that when it ends up in a landfill, it will naturally degrade,” he said.
Payne sees potential one day for a new type of card that could act as a bridge to the future when most payments are likely to originate with digital devices.
“When the banking sector moves away from dual-interface cards to pure RFID cards, then we could produce a card from wood fibre,” he said.