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From ocean plastic waste to payment cards

Starting next spring, the Savings Banks Group in Finland will offer customized picture cards made from ocean plastic.

02 December 2021

At least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the world's oceans every year. The globally difficult situation is improved by collecting plastic waste from oceans and coastal areas and reusing it. As the first in Finland, the Savings Banks group will offer its customers an option to have their debit or credit card made from ocean plastic. TietoEVRY manufactures, personalises and delivers payment cards to the Savings Banks’ customers.

Savings Bank’s customized picture payment cards made from ocean plastics will be available from next spring. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), at least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year – and that number is steadily increasing.

"By using plastic collected from the oceans to make payment cards, we can contribute to reducing the amount of microplastics ending up in the bodies of humans and animals. At the same time, it will also lead to cleaner beaches," says Manu Kauppila, who is responsible for Savings Banks Group’s card business.

Especially in developing countries, a large proportion of plastic eventually ends up in the sea. Material for Savings Banks’ cards is collected from, for example, small island states that do not have infrastructure ready for plastic sorting and that are also the most vulnerable to climate change.

Plastic waste collected from the ocean is sorted and eventually made into plastic from which TietoEVRY, Savings Banks Group’s card partner, manufactures and personalizes payment cards for Savings Banks’ customers.

The advantages of ocean plastic cards over traditional payment cards

Although the transport of collected ocean plastics to Europe by sea freight results in CO2 emissions, the total emissions are lower than if the cards were made of traditional plastic.

"We understand very well that we do not solve the world's environmental problems by using ocean plastic waste to make our payment cards. However, we believe that the world will become a better place if sustainability and environmental considerations are increasingly taken into account in similar concrete actions," says Kauppila.

Sustainable for both the nature and the user

Ocean plastics are made from PET, which is widely used in items such as plastic bottles. It is more environmentally friendly – but still as durable an option – as the traditional payment cards made from PVC plastic.

"Currently over 70% of a payment card body can be made of recycled ocean plastic. Ocean plastic cards not only minimize the introduction of virgin plastic but also reduce the amount of plastic in oceans. We are happy to work here with our card partner Thales," says Jarmo Rouhiainen, Head of Card Production & Personalisation in TietoEVRY.

Savings Banks Group is the first bank in Finland to announce that it will introduce an ocean plastic payment card.

"Even though many of our customers already pay for their purchases by phone or smartwatch, we believe that the physical payment card will remain in the customers' wallet for a long time to come. That's why we want to bring an environmentally friendly alternative to our customers' wallets as soon as possible," Kauppila sums up.

Picture debit or credit cards made from ocean plastics can be obtained from Savings Bank from around May 2022 onwards.

For further information, please contact:

Manu Kauppila
Head of Cards, Savings Banks Group
+358 50 571 0936

Jarmo Rouhiainen
Head of Card Production & Personalisation, TietoEVRY
+358 40 558 3077

Savings Banks Group enhance individuals and societies financial welfare. We want to be known of our bravery, expertise and passion for excellent customer service. Savings Banks Groups cover local and independent Savings Banks and Savings Banks centrum. We offer to our customers wide variety of retail banking services as well as investment, real estate and insurance services.

TietoEVRY creates digital advantage for businesses and society. We are a leading digital services and software company with local presence and global capabilities. Our Nordic values and heritage steer our success.

Headquartered in Finland, TietoEVRY employs around 24 000 experts globally. The company serves thousands of enterprise and public sector customers in more than 90 countries. TietoEVRY’s annual turnover is approximately EUR 3 billion and its shares are listed on the NASDAQ in Helsinki and Stockholm as well as on the Oslo Børs.

Our contact person

Jarmo Rouhiainen

Head of Card Production and Personalisation

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