Going green with your bank cards

Kiwibank has today announced it would be the first bank in New Zealand to issue bank cards made from recycled materials to its customers.

Known as the plastic straw of the payments industry, the move will see more than 500,000 new Kiwibank bank cards per year made from industrial waste that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

Kiwibank General Manager Cards and Payments Fiona Ehn said the recycled debit and credit cards were a great example of how Kiwibank can help support its customers in their journey to living more sustainably.

“Plastic waste is one of the top social and environmental issues that concern New Zealanders so I’m proud that we can do our bit to create a second use for industrial waste,” she said.

“Over the next two years we’ll issue more than a million cards made from recycled material, and our customers will experience the same strong quality and durability,” Ehn said.

Having recently achieved B Corp Certification, this announcement is the latest sustainability initiative for the New Zealand-owned bank.

Kiwibank’s Head of Sustainability Julia Jackson said this improvement in environmental impact continues the mahi the bank has done over the past years to reduce plastic consumption.

“Previously we’ve not had a viable alternative in our card materials so it’s fantastic to have an alternative to virgin plastic and put in place something that normalises sustainability and makes it simple for our customers to do the right thing.

“This change will see over 2,000kgs of plastic waste recycled into our bank cards per year and result in a 54% reduction in carbon emissions of our cards. Every card will be made up of 82% recycled material,” Jackson said.

Debit and credit cards have a chip and an antenna part of the core, which cannot be made from recycled materials.

Working with manufacturer Placard, production of the recycled cards started this month. In line with its sustainably ethos Kiwibank will use up existing stock before rolling out the new recycled cards to customers in the next few months.

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Note to editors

1. 58% of Kiwi are concerned about the build-up of plastic in the environment, 56% that not enough waste is recycled and 53% are concerned about overpackaging, non-recyclable packaging and landfill (Better Futures Report 2021); 44% of Kiwi (and 64% of 18-24 year olds) consider brands that are reducing plastic and improving packaging as a key signifier of being a leader in sustainability (In Good Company Report).