By Javier Cortés Sainz, RENA Banking Sales Director at Valid.
There is a growing concern for the environment across multiple industries. Removing PVC from many products we use daily has become a major trend; in fact, governments are putting pressure on companies to replace PVC with 100% biodegradable materials and to reduce their CO2 footprint during the manufacturing process. In the Payment sector, and, more precisely, in the evolution of the bank card, we are seeing three primary trends toward reducing the environmental impact of the conventional bank card:
- materials that last as long or longer than PVC (and with a smaller CO2 footprint), reducing the volume of cards produced each year;
- materials that are 100% biodegradable (PLA, PETG or bio-based PVC), whose CO2 footprint is considerably smaller than PVC; and
- digitalization of bank cards.
In the European market, we are supporting financial institutions in all three of these initiatives. Valid has tangible success cases in the production of bank cards using 100% biodegradable materials. This year, we have produced a considerable volume of VISA prepaid magnetic strip cards using PLA, which is a completely biodegradable material, made primarily of polylactic acid (PLA) – a bioplastic that is originates from corn starch. The rest of the card’s components are made from biomass. Cards made from this material last approximately two years, making it ideal for prepaid cards, whose have a maximum expiry limit of two years. In addition to being biodegradable, this type of card uses a different manufacturing process, cutting the carbon footprint for its production in half, thus leading to a significant reduction of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Cards made from PVC emit 30 kg of CO2, compared to 15.5 kg for every 1,000 cards made of PLA. When PLA cards reach the end of their lifecycle, they can be destroyed in several different ways with no environmental impact. Additionally, ecological materials similar to PLA, but are longer lasting, are also undergoing approvals, including PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol) for dual-interface cards which could replace the entire range of bank cards with PVC-free and 100% biodegradable products and a reduced CO2 ,footprint.
To learn how we can help you in the production of biodegradable bank cards and gift cards, contact Valid at: firstname.lastname@example.org.