Why you should opt to eco-friendly gift cards rather than plastic cards

26 Oct 2021 • 3 minute read

Gift cards are perfect presents for friends and family, especially when they love a particular brand, but you do not know what to get them. Gift cards are an easy purchase; you are gifting them the choice to get what they want. 

It is true – we all love a gift card. But despite this, there are growing concerns over single-use and limited use plastic cards that are being disposed of regularly with no easily accessible recycling schemes. Particularly with these types of cards where you are looking at a typical one-time use.

Along with other single-use plastics items such as straws, coffee cup lids and shopping bags, gift cards should also be highlighted as a single-use plastic problem that needs to be talked about as it is a regularly used single-use item that has an impact on our environment. On average, the UK produces over 800milion gift cards every year to feed the £7billion sector.

Changing your plastic gift cards to eco-friendly gift cards has a range of advantages for businesses including potential cost savings, quicker turnarounds, and low minimum order volumes that can significantly reduce the environmental impact in both the production process and at its end of life cycle.

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

Minimise your carbon footprint

When thinking about products that cause harm to our planet, gift cards are not one that necessarily comes up in the media. Instead, 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 in the UK. And manufacturing one plastic gift card equates to 21g of carbon being produced.

If these figures are not worrying enough, between 2005-2012, more than 41 billion dollars’ worth of gift cards were not 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 their environmental values.

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Reduce the harm caused to our wildlife

The plastic we use and throw away will last longer than most of our lifetimes in one form or another. Once we discard plastic, it can take hundreds of years to break down. This is due to the materials 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 inadequate waste management process, a large amount of it ends up in our oceans. Approximately 8 million pieces of plastic waste enter our oceans each day. This pollution does not just affect humans, it also has a catastrophic effect on our marine wildlife and environment. Every year, 100,000 marine mammals die due to plastic pollution in the ocean, affecting our marine life and ecosystems.

Purchasing environmentally friendly gift cards 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 have finished using them, they can be easily recycled along with other household waste. They are also compostable, so they will not contribute to our landfill crisis.

Show you care about the planet

As consumers become more aware of how their purchasing choices can affect the planet, a large percentage of them want brands to reduce the amount of plastic 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, it can be an effective way of illustrating that your brand is dedicated to playing its part in the plastic crisis and demonstrates your awareness of your environmental responsibilities. You are 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 become more mindful of their decision surrounding plastic, the better chance our plant 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 as they do.
If you want to make the switch, get in touch with us here at Green Gift Cards. Our paperboard cards are compostable, recyclable and sustainably sourced, reducing the impact on the environment from conception to purchase, even throughout the product's lifetime.

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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If you would like to actually feel and see the quality of our Green Gift Card, we will happily send you some samples.

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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.