AmEx to roll out credit card made from ocean plastic

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The new card is part of the company’s global effort to reduce waste

Brady Porche

Staff Reporter
Focusing on credit scores and what consumers can do to improve them

 

Plastic credit cards are not known for being environmentally
friendly, but American Express is aiming to change that.

The company is launching its first-ever credit card made
primarily from plastic debris recovered from the ocean. American Express said
in a June
7 news release
it expects to make the card – which is currently a
prototype – publicly available within the next 12 months, after a period of
testing and refinement.

“We are currently undergoing research to identify the
optimal sustainable materials to use in larger-scale card production,” AmEx
spokeswoman Charlotte Fuller said in an e-mail. “This research and testing is
something we do with every new card product – things like testing the card
durability and ensuring the card works at all merchant terminals.”

Fuller did not provide details on the new card’s branding,
or what kinds of rewards or perks it might offer. She said American Express
would continue to issue cards made of titanium and stainless steel, which are
recyclable. But AmEx cards made purely of non-recovered plastic are evidently
on the way out.

“We are committed to reducing the use of virgin plastic in
our card production over time, and ocean plastic is just one of many
sustainable, recycled materials that can be leveraged to do so,” Fuller said.

See related: ‘Green’ your spending with eco-friendly cards

Effort to increase cards’ recyclability

Plastic credit cards are difficult
to recycle
and they’re typically made from environmentally hazardous
materials. Most bank cards are composed of PVC, a known carcinogen that can
foul the air when burned and pollute groundwater when it sits in a landfill. More
than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year, according
to the nonprofit environmental group Plastic Oceans.

The new card is part of an effort by AmEx to reduce
single-use plastic in its global operations. The company also said it would rid
its Centurion airport lounges of one-time-use plastic straws and coffee
stirrers within 30 days, and all virgin plastic by the end of 2018.

Additionally, the card issuer is planning to increase
recycling rates at its global operations and achieve zero-waste certification
at its New York City headquarters by 2025.

AmEx is partnering with environmental organization Parley to
roll out the marine plastic card and raise consumers’ awareness of ocean conservation.

 




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