The Global Plastic Problem: A Major Challenge

The Global Plastic Problem: A Major Challenge


Humanity has a huge plastics problem. Several hundred millions tons of plastics are produced each year, with a large majority ending up as waste. The widespread lack of recycling and disposal leads to pollution in landfills and oceans. This poses a threat to nature and human health.


Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, releasing toxic compounds. It's crucial to reduce plastic consumption, promote recycling, and invest in sustainable alternatives to tackle this challenge and create a cleaner future.


The Plastic Problem in the Cards Industry


The cards industry, particularly the global payment card industry (PCI), is a significant contributor to plastic waste. Annually, around 37.1 billion plastic cards are produced, with an expected growth rate of 2–3% each year. (Quelle ICMA)  


Within the PCI alone, about 6 billion plastic banking cards are in circulation, with more than 3 billion produced yearly. Unfortunately, these cards are typically disposed of after use and not collected or recycled. This amounts to a staggering 30.000 tons of PVC, equivalent to the weight of 150 Boeing 747 airplanes. (Quelle: Thalesgroup)


A classic bank card contains about 5g of PVC. About 60g CO2 equivalent carbon footprint is a realistic assumption only for its material, not yet including the production and transport. Presumably, if the cards made of thos 30.000 tons of PVC were all replaced with our TIMBERCARD, this would be equivalent to avoiding 360.000 tons of CO2 equivalents solely out of the card material itself.


Addressing the plastic problem in the cards industry is vital for waste reduction and minimizing environmental impact. One approach is to explore alternative materials and promote recycling and responsible disposal practices.


A particularly promising solution is the development of plastic-free wooden banking cards – like the TIMBERCARDs. The card body is fully biodegradable, except for the chip, antenna and magnetic stripe. This ensures that the cards are environmentally friendly throughout their lifecycle.


These cards are not just one more instance of "greenwashing." They are made from certified wood materials sourced from domestic and sustainable suppliers. This certification guarantees that the materials meet specific environmental standards and contribute to sustainable forestry practices.


By embracing plastic-free wooden cards and prioritizing responsible sourcing, the cards industry can play a significant role in reducing plastic waste and making positive contributions to environmental sustainability.