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Mastercard launches global card recycling project

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Mastercard launches global card recycling project

Mastercard has launched a global project to recycle credit and debit cards as part of a plan to stop the billions of cards in circulation across the industry from entering landfills. 

Source: RecyclingToday

Mastercard initially partnered on the project with London-based financial services group HSBC Holdings Plc in eight branches in Britain. Per its latest announcement, Mastercard says it will provide shredding machines capable of holding 10,000 cards, or 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of plastic, to HSBC. Once full, the shredded cards will be transferred to a plastic recycling facility. Mastercard says banks across the world, some of which have launched local initiatives, can now join the program. 

We are inviting all card issuers around the world to partner with us, no matter what region they are in, and offer card recycling to their customers.

Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard

The pilot project will run for an initial six months and allow customers to recycle any plastic card, including those from rivals. Mastercard did not disclose the financial details of the plan.  

This recycling pilot will provide us with some very important insight and will inform our longer-term plans. 

Jose Carvalho, head of wealth and personal banking at HSBC United Kingdom

In April, Mastercard announced its goal to remove first-use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics from payment cards in its network by 2028. The company plans for all newly produced plastic payment cards to be made from more sustainable materials starting Jan. 1, 2028. Materials for these cards will include recycled or bio-sourced plastics such as recycled PVC, polyethylene terephthalate, or polylactic acid. 

Bank of the West, headquartered in San Francisco, is one of the first U.S. banks to partner with Mastercard on the sustainable card program. 

We believe that conducting business sustainably is simply the right thing to do. That’s why we partnered with Mastercard on our 1 [percent] For The Planet Checking Account debit cards, which are designed to reduce the impact of first-use PVC on the environment.

Michael Battagliese, head of payment solutions and senior vice president at Bank of the West

Mastercard says it currently has around 3.1 billion cards in circulation. The company estimates around 600 million cards with a five-year lifespan are produced by the industry every year. The Nilson Report, a card and payment industry news outlet headquartered in Carpinteria, California, estimates total cards in circulation at nearly 26 billion in 2022, and forecast that could rise to 28.4 billion by 2027. 

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