" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> Santander launches in-branch card recycling scheme
Sunday, February 05, 2023
Saltedge Report

Santander launches in-branch card recycling scheme

Santander has introduced a pilot card recycling scheme in selected UK branches allowing the public to recycle expired or unused plastic cards such as debit and credit cards. The bank is the first in the UK to provide plastic recycling machines in its branches.

The specialised self-service machines allow people to shred their unwanted cards into over a hundred pieces, so they can have peace of mind they are securely disposed of. The cards are recycled into plastic pellets ready to be re-used. The pilot is expected to last up to six months, before next steps are confirmed.

Credit and debit cards are typically comprised of several layers of laminated plastic, metal oxide particles, solvents, inks and a magnetic strip,(1) which makes them particularly complex to recycle. As such they can end up in landfill and take hundreds of years to break down.

Fermín Martínez de Hurtado Yela, Head of Sustainability & Responsible Banking at Santander UK, commented: “Bank cards are traditionally very difficult to recycle. With 92 million debit cards and 60 million credit cards currently in UK circulation(2), it is a significant challenge and one that we want to play our part in helping.”

Last year, Banco Santander(3) announced that by 2025, all debit and credit cards in the UK, Spain, Portugal and Poland will be made from sustainable materials. This progress is in line with the Group’s commitment to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050 to support the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change(4).

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