Santander is piloting a recycling scheme in select UK branches allowing the public to dump expired or unused plastic cards in a safe and green manner.
The six-month pilot involves specialised self-service machines for people to shred their unwanted cards into over a hundred pieces. The cards are recycled into plastic pellets ready to be re-used.
Santander notes that credit and debit cards are typically comprised of several layers of laminated plastic, metal oxide particles, solvents, inks and a magnetic strip, which makes them particularly complex to recycle.
Fermín Martínez de Hurtado Yela, head, sustainability and responsible banking, Santander UK, says: "Bank cards are traditionally very difficult to recycle. With 92 million debit cards and 60 million credit cards currently in UK circulation, it is a significant challenge and one that we want to play our part in helping."
Last year, Banco Santander announced that by 2025, all debit and credit cards in the UK, Spain, Portugal and Poland will be made from sustainable materials.