Banco Santander has committed to converting all of its 30 million payment cards across Europe to recycled plastic within the next four years.
The bank says that by 2025, all debit, credit and pre-paid cards across Poland, Portugal, Spain and the UK will be made of sustainable materials, such as recycled PVC or corn-based plastic substitute.
The adoption of eco cards is expected to save more than 1,000 tonnes of CO2 every year, equivalent to the energy consumption of nearly 1,000 households. It will also reduce the use of plastic by 60 tons every year once the rollout, which started nearly two years ago, is completed.
Santander Portugal launched an initial portfolio of PLA cards in 2019, while Santander Spain followed suit last year.
The bank is also adopting a brand refresh for the new cards, which include an eco logo, a unique design for each customer segment for easier identification and a notch at the bottom of the card to aid accessibility for the blind.
António Simões, regional head of Europe at Banco Santander, says: “Reducing unnecessary use of plastics is a critically important step in the group’s transition to a green economy. By moving to eco cards, we are reducing our carbon footprint and supporting our ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions.”
Santander announced last month its ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions across the entire group by 2050. The commitment applies to the group’s own operations, which are already net zero, and all client emissions that result from any lending, advisory or investment services.