HSBC Introduces Recycled Plastic Cards

HSBC pledges to make all their payment cards from recycled plastic by 2026.

April 23, 2021
HSBC Introduces Recycled Plastic Cards
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Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

 

HSBC has announced that, as part of a new sustainability programme, they are removing all single-use PVC materials from use by 2026 at the latest. This means that all new banking and credit cards will be made from recycled plastics only.

It’s estimated that the change will save around 73 tonnes of plastic every year, along with over 160 tonnes of carbon dioxide used in the manufacturing process. The long-term plan of the sustainability programme is to get the bank to net-zero carbon emissions across the entire supply chain by 2030 or sooner.

The recycled PVC (rPVC) cards are already being produced in Malaysia and have been introduced in Sri Lanka this month. The UK is next on the list, followed by Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Macau, Mexico, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. The US will receive the cards after these markets, estimated by the end of 2021.

Recycled Plastic Use Growing

A survey conducted by Mintel on behalf of HSBC found that 77% of customers believe that financial corporations have a large part to play in creating an overall more sustainable society. 67% of customers were interested in recycled banking cards, and 92% thought that banks should be actively engaged with environmental preservation.

Other global banks are starting to switch to recycled plastic in their bank cards. Starling Bank in the UK now make their debit cards from recycled PVC, and they announced in October 2020 that they would plant a tree for every customer referral. The bank also uses only recycled card in its letters sending out the debit cards to customers initially. HSBC are now following in the footsteps.

HSBC is committed to achieving net zero by 2050 or sooner; and we’ve pledged to work with our customers in all sectors to reduce emissions.

Evolving our payment cards to eliminate single-use plastic cards is part of our aim to be net zero in our operations and supply chain by 2030 or sooner. New sustainable materials, such as rPVC, offer the financial services industry a clear way to accelerate its efforts to build a more sustainable future, and we’re proud to be part of a movement which is gathering momentum across the world.

Taylan Turan, Group Head of Customers, Products and Strategy at HSBC

Sustainable Finance

HSBC’s move comes at the same time that other businesses in the financial sector are also looking at their sustainability practices, with a focus on eco-friendly behaviour to ensure that the market has a strong future and that customers feel like their concerns are being addressed.

MasterCard is another business looking at how they can lead on responsible finance. They recently announced a new carbon calculator app, that lets customers see an estimate of their carbon footprint based on their spending through their online banking apps.

This came after a survey that showed that over half of respondents prioritized the environment more now than they did before the Coronavirus pandemic.

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