Bank of Ireland Launches Bio-Sourced Debit and Credit Cards

Published on: 27 October 2022
by KnowESG
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The Bank of Ireland has started issuing bio-sourced debit and credit cards across its card portfolio. This programme will eventually replace all debit and credit cards made out of plastic and help reduce the use of single-use plastic in Bank of Ireland products and services.

It is the only Irish bank that gives both personal and business customers a wide range of bio-sourced cards. The card is made from 84% bio-sourced renewable materials such as field maize and decomposes in six months, unlike its plastic counterpart, which takes around 400 years. 

The bank will save 17 tonnes of CO2 and 4.48 tonnes of plastic (equal to approximately 160,000 500ml plastic bottles) each year when the entire portfolio of cards is converted to bio-sourced cards. 

The bank is giving its debit and credit cards a new, modern design. The design will be different for each customer group (personal/business, debit card/credit card) so that people who carry more than one card can easily tell them apart. 

They have flat printing, which means the numbers don't wear out as quickly, extending the life of the card and reducing the number of replacement cards needed. The font size of the card numbers has been made bigger to make them easier to read, and a notch has been cut out of the card to make it easier to put it into a card machine or ATM. 

All new customers and existing customers whose cards are about to expire will get bio-sourced cards. Damaged, lost, or stolen cards will also be replaced with bio-sourced cards.

Eamonn Hughes, Chief Sustainability & Investor Relations Officer at Bank of Ireland Group, said: 

“If we are to live more sustainably, we need to do things differently, including through our everyday banking. The introduction of bio-sourced cards is a very practical way that Bank of Ireland and our customers can reduce our environmental footprint and is another important step in our Responsible and Sustainable Business strategy. These bio-sourced cards are very good for the environment, and 60,000 of them are already being used by third-level students. We will now dramatically increase the rollout of these cards across our entire card business in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

“We understand the important role that banks can play in the move to a low-carbon environment, whether it’s enabling customers to move into greener homes or switch to electric vehicles, or financing the development of the green energy sector. The climate crisis is a critical threat – we are committed to making a positive contribution today while also investing in tomorrow.”

Source: Bank of Ireland

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