Mastercard has announced plans to completely phase out first-use PVC plastic from its network of payment cards by 2028 and produce cards made from recycled plastics only.
Many environmentally friendly customers are looking for a means to lessen the effect of their cards on the environment, and this action would be welcomed by them while further reinforcing the company’s sustainability goals.
Mastercard formed the Greener Payments Partnership with card manufacturers Gemalto, Giesecke+Devrient, and IDEMIA in 2018 through its Digital Security Lab to limit the usage of first-use PVC plastic in card manufacturing. Banks that partner with Mastercard are located in more than 80 different nations. In 2021, it introduced the Mastercard Card Eco-Certification (“CEC”) program.
The Global Payment Technology Solution company revealed in its press release, as seen by Technext, that as of January 1, 2028, newly produced plastic payment cards will be from recycled or bio-sourced plastics such as rPVC, rPET, or PLA1. These cards will also bear the Card Eco Certification mark
Mastercard launched its Sustainable Card Program in 2018. Since then, over 330 issuers
across 80 countries have signed up, working in partnership with major card
manufacturers to transition more than 168 million cards across its network to recycled
and bio-based materials.
Today’s announcement further accelerates these efforts while complimenting the company’s work to deliver innovative, digital-first card programs that eliminate the need for physical card offers.
The modification that the company would enforce in the predicted year aims to ensure the certification of newly made cards, which Mastercard would use to assess and verify its sustainability claim. According to the company’s press release, the certification would be verified by an independent third-party auditor. Once a card has been validated, it can be imprinted with a Card Eco Certification mark.
“At Mastercard we are leading and shaping our industry’s collective pursuit of a more
sustainable, more environmentally conscious future,” said Ajay Bhalla, President of Cyber
& Intelligence at Mastercard.
As our customers respond to increased consumer desire to make more eco-friendly choices, we are making a firm commitment to reducing our environmental footprint – for the benefit of people, planet and inclusive growth.”
Mastercard established its sustainability efforts more than a decade ago with a focus on
financial inclusion, data responsibility and the environment. Through its network it
collaborates with partners to bring new environmental innovations and initiatives to
market, such as our Priceless Planet Coalition, Carbon Calculator as well as the
“Mastercard is committed to advancing climate action and reducing waste by driving our
business toward net zero emissions and leveraging our network and scale to accelerate
the transition to a low-carbon, regenerative economy,” said Ellen Jackowski, Chief
Sustainability Officer for Mastercard.
Reactions from Mastercard partner banks
Taylan Turan, Group Head of Retail Banking and Strategy, Wealth and Personal Banking at HSBC, said; 1 rPVC, rPET, or PLA are examples of alternative plastics that are most commonly used in Packaging, construction materials, and recycled bottles.
“Today’s announcement from Mastercard is a huge step for financial services. New
sustainable materials, such as rPVC, offer our sector a clear way to accelerate its efforts
to build a more sustainable future.” he said.
“As part of our net zero strategy at HSBC, we’ve already introduced recycled plastic payment cards across 28 of our global markets and embedded the requirement to use sustainable materials for all debit, credit and commercial cards in our product governance; removing 85 tones of plastic that would have ended up in landfill.”
Michael Battagliese, Head of Payment Solutions, Senior Vice President at Bank of the
West2 commented, “We believe that conducting business sustainably is simply the right thing to do. That’s why we partnered with Mastercard on our 1% For The Planet Checking Account debit cards, which are designed to reduce the impact of first-use PVC on the environment.“
Helen Bierton, Chief Banking Officer at Starling Bank said, “This initiative is a welcome next step in the journey to a sustainable future. As one of the first banks to remove first-use PVC from our debit cards, we know how important this is to our customers.”