PVC is used for lots of things, including most gift cards, ID cards, and credit cards. One of the disadvantages of PVC is that while it can be recycled, it very rarely is. PVC has a recycling code of 3, which most recycling programs do not accept. In the United States, recycling of PVC amounts to less than 1% of annual usage.
Gift cards and other plastic cards can be recycled, although it’s not always easy. Generally, you have to drop off plastic cards or send them somewhere. See How to Recycle Gift Cards, Recycling Mystery: Gift Cards, and Take a look in your wallet for more information on recycling plastic cards.
Recycled PVC provides the raw material to make new cards. I was pleasantly surprised when I checked into Club Quarters recently and was given a key card that was clearly labeled recycled. At 11 cents, this card probably costs a few cents more than a standard card, but it’s not so expensive that it’s going to break the bank. Club Quarters proves that recycling is possible and sets an example for hotels and other businesses.