New Zealand’s leading gift card and pre-paid card company eCard solutions is helping retailers reduce their use of plastic with its paper-based payment card alternative ‘envirocard.’
The envirocard works just like any other gift or pre paid card, however has been created from sustainably grown FSC forests and manufactured into paper based card stock. At the end of its life it goes into the recycle bin, not the rubbish bin, like limited use plastic gift cards.
The card’s magnetic stripe enables the look up between the terminal the card is being swiped through to facilitate a transaction, through to where the funds are held and then allowing the funds to be passed from the card to the retailer via a transaction switch.
Managing Director of eCard Solutions, Anna Fulljames, says consumers are expecting businesses to play their part in driving social and environmental change.
“Retailers can make change for good and reduce their use of plastic by switching to sustainable, paper card based technology, manufactured right here in New Zealand.”
Both large retailers and smaller companies are already setting up gift card programmes from scratch, opting for envirocard over plastic PVC cards. Companies can also supply their artwork for branding and production purposes, or eCard solutions can do this for them.
Fulljames says a significant challenge in the creation of the envirocard has been refining the production process to be more environmentally beneficial than the production of traditional plastic cards.
“In refining production process, the envirocard team estimate that the annual production of around 15 million cards equates to using approximately 75 tonnes of PVC.
“If you add in production waste that would be over 100 tonnes a year of plastic that can be eliminated using envirocard paper based technology.”
In terms of merchandising, the team have also created cardboard hang sell backers that don’t require glue spots to hold the gift card in place.
In addition, envirocard has card wallets that customers can order and have branded. These make personalisation of cards for b2b usage a really complete and well-presented product.
Fulljames says the big benefit to brands is that they can take steps towards executing their sustainability strategy.
“They feel good, consumers feel good, and envirocard is way better for the planet. Why wouldn’t you swap out plastic for paper-based gift and pre-paid cards?”