Mastercard has joined forces with other global players to develop a sustainable credit card program in a bid to cut down on single-use plastics.
Around six billion payment cards are produced each year – most of them made from non-biodegradable plastics such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride). These cards are replaced on average every three to four years, with discarded cards going to landfills across the world.
Mastercard’s sustainable card offerings are available to consumers in over a dozen countries globally and more than 60 financial institutions have issued cards with approved materials made from recyclable, bio-sourced, chlorine-free, degradable and ocean plastics.
These institutions include Crédit Agricole and Mauritius Commercial Bank, as well as Santander, which will issue cards shortly.
“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,” says Ajay Bhalla, president of Cyber & Intelligence, Mastercard.
“This way, everyone benefits – it’s better for the environment, it’s better for business and it meets evolving consumer needs,” he added.
“We’re pleased to partner with Mastercard on this important environmental initiative with the new DBS Eco Card, the first credit card in Asia made from polylactic acid — a renewable and biodegradable polymer material that emits no toxic gases during incineration,” says LIM Him Chuan, general manager of DBS Bank (Taiwan).
Mastercard’s Global DigiSec Lab in the UK, which works to maximise product innovation and security investments, has invested in technology that analyses the material makeup of a card to assess environmental claims on behalf of the industry, so that customers can be confident that any Mastercard they are issuing from a sustainable material has been evaluated and independently verified.