Mastercard speeds up plan to remove first-use plastics from payment cards


Mastercard will accelerate its efforts to remove first-use, PVC plastics from payment cards on its network by the year 2028.

According to Mastercard, this move further reinforces its sustainability commitments and scales the accessibility of more sustainable card offerings for consumers seeking a way to reduce the environmental impact of their wallet.

From January 1, 2028, all new Mastercard plastic payment cards will be made from more sustainable materials. These include recycled or bio-sourced plastics such as rPVC, rPET, or PLA1 – and approved through a certification program, in a first move for a payment network.

Back in 2018, Mastercard launched its sustainable card program. Since then, over 330 issuers across 80 nations have signed working, working alongside major card manufacturers to transition more than 168 million cards across its network to recycled and bio-based materials.

The rule change will see all newly made cards certified by Mastercard to assess their composition and sustainability claims; this certification will then be validated by an independent third-party auditor. Once a card has been validated it can be imprinted with a Card Eco Certification mark.

Also in 2018, Mastercard launched the Greener Payments Partnership through its Digital Security Lab with card manufacturers Gemalto, Giesecke+Devrient and IDEMIA to reduce the use of first-use PVC plastic in card manufacturing.

Mastercard president of cyber and intelligence Ajay Bhalla said, “At Mastercard we are leading and shaping our industry’s collective pursuit of a more sustainable, more environmentally conscious future. 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.”

Back in November last year, Mastercard partnered with bpost to launch the world’s first card to include True Name and Touch Card solution, to bring inclusivity to LGBTQIA+ and blind communities .

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