Metal cards and the environment


I’m sure many of us are aware this fad of metal cards, and like some of you I’m guilty of having one too. But I was thinking… what do we do with our card when it expires? Or you cancel your Curve Metal card following the Amex debacle, or the N26 Metal card when you can’t justify the cost/benefits? Revolut allow you to continue using a shiny metal card - even if you cancel your Metal subscription - until the card expires but without the benefits of the Metal subscription. However Curve and N26 cancel your metal card entirely and reissue a plastic one instead.

My Revolut card has an expiry date 5 years after issue. Plastic cards tend to expire 2 to 4 years after issue. So in some respects the durability of metal cards give them a longer serviceable life and that‘s good for the environment.

Expired/cancelled plastic cards can be easily destroyed - a pair of scissors are effective, or you can shred them in your typical domestic paper shredder. But metal ones are going to be much more difficult. Maybe I’ll need to invest in an axel grinder in a few years time? Plus as Metal cards are plastic bonded to stainless steel I assume they’re not going to be easily recyclable - which bin would they go in?

Any thoughts?

(sam) #2

I raised this point a dlfrw months back. Metal cards are much worse for the environment as a mix of materials they are difficult to recycle plus much more environmentally costly to produce. In my opinion a cool card to have would be made of bamboo fibre or some other biodegradable material. Think how many cards have been produced in the past 50 years worldwide, and how much pollution that caused.

(sam) #3

P.s. if scissors won’t cut through a metal card then aviation shears are your friend.

(Dave) #4

The Co-operative Bank make their cards out of PET (i.e. no PVC) so they can be recycled. They also seem softer and don’t last as long (in my personal experience). Triodos make their debit card out of “plant materials” but I’ve never had one so I can’t vouch for how long they last.

I like the idea of a metal card (I don’t have one), but to be honest I can see how they are a greater problem environmentally.


I’ve noticed all my plastic ones are 5 years :eyes:

This still isn’t too good for the environment, wasted materials to make them and they’re not recylable.

I asked Revolut on Twitter if they’re recyclable and if they’d consider doing something like the Coop. Awaiting a response.

I don’t think I’d want to use these, to be honest.

Lots, but I’m under the belief that if people see the environment destruction as an issue then our Governments will restrict it or the companies will impose things on themselves.

(sam) #6

You wouldn’t know the difference

(Liam) #7

I have a bamboo fibre coffee cup. Indistinguishable from plastic but comes with that nice fuzzy feeling you get from knowing your helping to starve pandas… I mean not using a petrochemical biproduct.


Oh, then I’d be totally fine with it.

You have to talk with your feet though :wink: get others to think the same way and then tell Revolut you want it changed!

I like the idea of saving the environment though.