Recycling Plastic Cards

2000px-Plastic-recyc-03PVC 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 CardsRecycling Mystery: Gift Cards, and Take a look in your wallet for more information on recycling plastic cards.

reverseRecycled 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.




About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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