Consumers spend some USD 65 billion on gift cards each year in the United States alone, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report; extrapolated globally, that adds up to a lot of plastic. While some retailers have begun recycling the PVC-based cards after they're used, the fact remains that most still end up in landfills. Enter the ecocard, a new line of eco-friendly alternatives.
Suitable also for use as hotel key cards, ecocard's range includes four different cards with increasing levels of "greenness." First is the PETg card, made from non-PVC, food-grade plastic that can be widely recycled. Next on the green scale comes a recycled PVC card that's made from old, traditional gift cards along with waste from factories; flecks of colour give away its mixed heritage. Even more green is the Ingeo ecocard, made from a plant-based material that disappears when composted. (Retailers including L.L Bean, Apple iTunes, REI, Target and Toys “R” US are reportedly among the companies that have already begun offering cards made from Ingeo.) Finally, ecocard's flagship Bloomcard—the greenest on its eco-scale—is made from recycled paper and laden with wildflower seeds, so that it can be planted after use and "reborn as poppies, daisies and buttercups." The UK-based company also offers sustainable badge holders and card packaging. And for every order, it pledges to plant one tree.
Perhaps just as important as the material underlying each ecocard is the fact that its composition and origins are proudly proclaimed on the back of the card, making the line not only eco-minded but also eco-iconic, as our sister site would say. Retailers, hoteliers, credit companies and all others using plastic cards: this one's for you! ;-) (Related: Service pays cash for unwanted gift cards.)