How to make an environmentally-friendly payment card the Gemalto way

Last updated: 22 April 2016

Bio sourced card

When it comes to doing our part for the environment and combating climate change, we tend to imagine that meaningful action will only come from nation states striving for global agreements at events such as the COP21 UN Climate Change conference in Paris in November 2015, or media powerhouses trying to drive the agenda.

But it’s definitely true that every little change helps. In our pockets most of us in the developed world carry two or more plastic payment cards. Taking into account the world’s seven billion cards, that equates to 35,000 tons of plastic. Not only will these cards not degrade for hundreds of years, but deriving them from oil uses a non-renewable resource in a way that has generally poor consequences for the environment.

Here at Gemalto we wanted to see if we could do our part to help, and after two years of R&D, we developed the Bio Sourced card with a body made entirely from renewable resources. We’ve just announced that the card is being delivered to Banco Popular Dominicano, the Dominican Republic’s leading bank. Not only will customers benefit from an environmentally-friendly, artistic, high-quality product, but they’ll also enjoy discounts on sporting events, restaurants and hotels.

Here’s a little more about what makes the Biosourced card so unique in the industry.

The cards are manufactured from a unique, corn-based PLA (PolyLactic Acid), a plastic substitute that is non-petroleum-based, biodegradable, recyclable and non-toxic if incinerated. Please note it won’t pop if placed in hot oil, nor will it fuel your car or taste good if you grind it to a flour and make tortillas with it (actually, we haven’t tried this. It might be delicious, but… don’t try it at home).

The Dominican Republic isn’t the only country that’s embraced the Bio-sourced smart card. Coop Bank Denmark was the first to commercially deploy our Optelio Contactless EMV Eco Cards. These cards are still able to offer all features that their customers expect, with creative artwork that set the designs apart from the crowd, such as contactless capabilities and availability in EMV and Dual Interface.

It’ll be a while before those 35,000 tons of cards are replaced with 35,000 tons of corn-derived eco-materials, but if you did want to know more about the card in the meantime, check out this video from our product team:

One thought on “How to make an environmentally-friendly payment card the Gemalto way

  1. Environmentally friendly, corn-based payment cards is an innovative idea in this industry that hopefully catches on.

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