Why to opt for eco-friendly gift cards rather than plastic

16 Mar 2021 • 3 minute read

Gift cards are perfect presents for friends and family, especially when they love a brand, but don’t know what they want. It’s easy to purchase and you’re giving them the choice to get exactly what they want. 

It’s true – we all love a gift card. But despite this, there are growing concerns over single-use plastic cards that are being disposed of regularly. Particularly, with these types of cards where you’re looking at a one-time use.

Along with many other single-use plastics such as plastic straws, plastic coffee cup lids, plastic shopping bags – it’s important that gift cards should also be highlighted as an item that needs to be talked about as a regular single-use item that has an impact on our environment.

Changing your plastic gift cards to eco-friendly gift cards has a range of advantages for businesses and consumers alike. Not only do these include potential savings, quicker turnarounds and fewer order volumes, they can also have a huge impact on the environment.

Alongside these amazing benefits - we’ve also put together 3 important reasons why you should opt to use environmentally friendly gift cards, rather than single-use plastic cards – whether you’re a consumer or business.

Minimise your carbon footprint

When thinking about products that cause harm to our planet, gift cards aren’t one that necessarily comes up in the media. We often hear about straws, bottles and bags, but gift cards are increasing in demand. Although these items are small, the plastic variety can cause a large amount of damage to our environment throughout their lifecycle.

Each year, an equivalent of 50,700 tons of plastic cards are being dumped into landfills. And manufacturing one plastic gift card equates to 21g of carbon being produced.

If these figures aren’t worrying enough, between 2005-2012, more than 41 billion dollars worth of gift cards weren’t redeemed in America alone. This is due to the item either not being purchased from supermarket shelves, or consumers not using the cards before they expire. These cards are then discarded and could take up to 450 years to break down into microplastics.

Often these gift cards are not able to be recycled alongside other plastic household waste. Therefore, choosing an eco-friendly gift card instead is a great way to play your part in the fight against plastic waste. Small changes made by everyone, whether that is a business deciding to invest in environmentally friendly cards, or consumers choosing the cards on the market that fit that bill.

Reduce the amount of harm caused to our wildlife

In one form or another, the plastic we all use and throw away will last longer than most of our lifetimes. Once we discard the plastic we use, it can take hundreds of years to breakdown, due to the materials that are used in the manufacturing process. No organisms can break them down quickly or easily, which results in plastic waste staying around much longer than its purpose.

As the waste enters our landfills, a large amount of it ends up in our oceans. Approximately 8 million pieces of plastic waste enter our planet’s oceans each day. This pollution doesn’t just affect humans and the environment, it also has a large effect on our marine wildlife. Annually, 100,000 marine mammals die each year due to the mass amount of plastic pollution in the ocean. So, we’re not only affecting ourselves but also our whales, our dolphins, sea lions and most of the sea life.

Purchasing environmentally friendly gift vouchers can help reduce the amount of plastic that enters our oceans each year. Not only are eco-friendly gift cards sustainable, but they are biodegradable, meaning that when you’ve finished using them, they can be recycled along with other household waste. They’re also compostable so they will not contribute to our landfill crisis.

Show your audience you care about the planet

As consumers become more aware of how their purchasing choices can affect the planet, a larger percentage of them want brands to reduce the amount of plastic that is used. A study taken by YouGov showed that 82% of Britain's population are making an active effort to reduce the amount of plastic waste they throw away. Whilst 45% are interested in purchasing eco-friendly products.

As a business using eco-friendly gift cards can be an effective way of demonstrating that your brand is dedicated to playing its part in the plastic crisis and demonstrates your awareness of your environmental responsibilities. You’re also likely to increase loyalty amongst customers who appreciate your values as a business.

Wanting your own eco-friendly gift card?

As both consumers and businesses, alike, become more mindful of their decision surrounding plastic, the better chance our planet has of healing. Showing your audience that you want to make a difference can be easier than you think. Offering environmentally friendly gift cards, such as Green Gift Cardsshows your target audience that you care about the same issues are they do.

If you want to make the switch, get in touch with us here at Green Gift Cards. Our paperboard cards are not only compostable and recyclable but also sustainably sourced reducing the impact on the environment from conception to purchase, and even throughout the life of the product.

Give us a call on 01794 725 454 or get in touch today. We’re here to help you make the change and help in the fight against plastic pollution. 



Compostable and recyclable



Save up to 40% compared to plastic



Turnaround average 20 working days

Introducing our range of plastic-free cards

Since 2006 we have been innovating and disrupting in the card market to develop what is a leading range of environmentally-friendly card solutions. So what sets us apart?

Well that’s the thing, there’s a number of reasons why Green Gift Cards are renowned in the world of card production. It is the material we use for our cards and the certification that the cards come with. It is also the compelling environmental story (we urge you to watch the video) that is behind all of our cards and the fact that, once finished with, our cards are compostable and can be recycled in normal household waste streams. Oh and we’ll say it again – being environmentally-friendly doesn’t mean they are more expensive. In fact they offer great value compared to plastic cards.

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If you would like to talk to us about your next card order or would like to know more about what makes our products so unique, call us on 01794 725 454 or request a call back.

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White paper

Read our latest white paper to find out one simple change organisations can implement today to help tackle the issue of single and limited use plastic.


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We work closely with some of the biggest and best in their field to bring you market leading environmental solutions for your cards. Learn more about our partners.