Now We’re Talking: Credit Cards Made From Plastic Found in Oceans

Now We’re Talking: Credit Cards Made From Plastic Found in Oceans

Isn’t it great to see that a renowned credit-card company is taking a sustainable approach? American Express is currently working with Parley for the Oceans, a design company that lets companies make more eco-friendly products. They both are working together to make credit cards made from plastic trash that usually pollute the ocean.

Founder of Parley for the Oceans Cyrill Gutsch said, “Every second breath we take is created by the oceans. Without them, we can’t exist. American Express is creating a symbol of change and inviting their network to shape a blue future, one based on creativity, collaboration and eco-innovation.”

The credit card company will adopt Parley’s guiding philosophy, which is AIR. It stands for Avoid, Intercept, Redesign. “Avoid plastic wherever possible; Intercept existing plastic waste; and Redesign the materials, products and thinking at the root of the problem,” as stated in Parley’s press release.

This means that, following the footsteps of Parley, American Express has committed to avoiding single-use and disposable plastics, stop plastic waste, and redesign the cards using existing plastic and other materials. This company also plans to use less virgin plastic in the future.

Janey Whiteside, an executive vice president and general manager of global premium products and benefits of American Express, stated that right now, the card is still a prototype. It will undergo a lot more testing and refinement. But within the next 12 months it will debut as a functional card.

This card won’t replace all credit cards that the company offered, but it’ll be an option for existing as well as new card members. “We can play a unique and important role on an issue that is highly important and relevant to our card members’ lives,” said Whiteside.

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#WorldOceansDay – I would not be as passionate or aware of of Ocean Sustainability if it weren’t for the inspiration of @thetomroberts. Congratulations on the culmination of over a years work, and with it the creation of a new symbol of luxury. The term “paying with plastic” is about to get a facelift as @americanexpress collaborates with for the Oceans to develop the worlds first credit card made from recycled ocean plastic. Along with it, offices and operations worldwide will become more sustainable, employees will be given the tools to support the movement, and cardholders will be educated and empowered to become ocean advocates. If the oceans die, we die 🙏🏽 #KeepItBlue #KeepTheChange #ProtectWhatYouLove

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Group president of global consumer services of American Express Doug Buckminster said, “Our oceans play a vital role in our lives, the health of our planet and the health of travel and tourism, which American Express has long supported,”

“It’s important that we raise awareness and do our part to keep our oceans blue. Partnering with Parley is the right next step as we pursue our larger vision of backing our communities and sustaining the planet we share.”

Why credit cards? It’s true that these cards don’t usually end up on the ocean like plastic straws and many others. But they’re not recyclable because each card is comprised of different kinds of plastic.

American Express is taking this approach and making efforts because they want to raise awareness about this never ending problematic issue. “I’m hopeful that when someone pulls out a card made from the more sustainable materials and pays with it, it will remind them to make more informed choices,” Whiteside said.

American Express logo by Marcus Quigmire wikimedia commons
American Express logo by Marcus Quigmire wikimedia commons

And not only that, the credit card company is also replacing all disposable plastic straws and coffee stirrers at their airport lounges within a month. This initiative will also increase recycling rates globally and take out all disposable plastic at all Amex Centurion airport lounges by the end of the year.

Additionally, the company’s headquarters in New York and major cities will also get the same treatment. Basically, they want to intercept plastic waste before it damages the environment.

They don’t stop there. American Express also undertake other green initiatives. Some of them is powering all of their US data centers and New York headquarters using renewable energy sources. The company also want to get zero waste certification for its New York City headquarters by 2025.

The plan also involves enabling American Express colleagues to be a part of the initiative by engaging in annual river cleanups and company-run coastal. The other one is ensuring that their employees will have carbon neutral business travels by 2012.

Read also: Green initiatives taken by other companies

Plastic polluted beach by wikimedia commons
Plastic polluted beach by wikimedia commons

Now, even though initiatives and efforts like this are aplenty, such as recycling, reusing, or cutting back single-use packaging in stores, tackling plastic waste problem is still an ongoing battle. You can still see floating plastic waste or the big ones at landfills.

Darby Hoover, a senior resource specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council said that cards which are recycled from ocean plastic isn’t going to make much of a difference. He said, “The plastics in our oceans are generally broken down into small pieces and it’s very difficult to isolate those by type of plastic to recycle for manufacturing.”

According to Ocean Conservancy, there are about 150 metric tons of plastic in the ocean, and devastating 8 million metric tons enter it each year. And more animals keep eating or getting trapped in those. The nonprofit environmental advocacy group found that you can now find plastic in more than 60% of all seabirds and 100% of sea turtle species.

But both sides don’t want to lose hope. In the website, Parley stated that, “The Parley partnership is an ambitious step within American Express’ broader journey to become a more environmentally sustainable company. Together we will work to protect the oceans against plastic pollution through our strategy for solutions and define a new business culture. Everyone is invited to take part.”

Do you think American Express is taking the right path? And do you think this will make an impact after all? We’d love to know your thoughts on this, so leave them on the comments down below. Also, make sure to click here for related, conversation-starter article.



Amex Is Making a Credit Card With Plastic From the Ocean

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