Mastercard launched a global project to recycle credit and debit cards on Wednesday as part of a drive to divert billions of cards now in circulation from the garbage.
Mastercard said banks throughout the world, some of which have begun local initiatives, will be able to join the scheme and help generate economies of scale. It began by working with British lender HSBC Holdings Plc in eight branches in the United Kingdom.
“We are inviting all card issuers around the world to partner with us, no matter what region they are in, and offer card recycling to their customers,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard Inc.
According to the plan, Mastercard would give HSBC shredding machines capable of holding 10,000 cards, or 50 kg (110 pounds) of plastic. When it is full, it will be taken to a plastic recycling center.
The plan’s financial details were not released. Customers will be able to recycle any plastic card, even those from competitors, as part of a six-month experimental programme.