By Ellen Arndt, AlphaCard
With more and more organizations taking steps toward lowering their carbon footprint and adopting environmentally safe business practices, it’s crucial for ID card suppliers to do the same. In recent years, many ID card printer manufacturers have made strides in this arena by developing and promoting earth-friendly products. Here are several options to consider when creating your green ID card program:
Recycled PVC ID Cards: Recycled blank ID cards are made from 100% recycled plastic, offering an alternative to standard PVC CR80 cards. Just like their counterpart, recycled ID cards deliver superior print quality and durability. Appearances wise, some recycled ID cards have a slightly off-white tint, whereas standard PVC cards are a brighter white. The best part about these cards is that they’re already being reused and recycled, so you are not adding more plastic waste to the planet.
Biodegradable PVC ID Cards: Abbreviated as BioPVC, these environmentally friendly blank ID cards are completely biodegradable in environments fostering bacteria and fungi such as compost piles and waterways. When thrown out, BioPVC cards successfully decompose in one to five years, helping to decrease the overall amount of waste generated each year. For optimal results, they should first be shredded and composted to ensure they will not simply end up in the landfill.
Eco Printer Ribbons: Refillable ribbon cartridges are an excellent way for organizations to reduce their carbon footprint. Traditional ribbons are housed in a plastic cartridge that must be thrown away when the ribbon is used up. The newer eco ribbons feature reusable, refillable cartridges. When changing an eco ribbon, you simply pop out the old film and slide in a refill and reuse the specialized plastic cartridge. Since eco ribbon refills cost less than their traditional ribbon counterparts, you save money while reducing the amount of waste your company produces.
Recycled and Bamboo Lanyards: Recycled plastic breakaway lanyards are fashioned from PET plastic, which yields tremendous recyclability. When recycled, PET plastic objects can be used to create new PET plastic. By purchasing PET lanyards, you are again reusing and recycling materials instead of adding new. Bamboo lanyards, as the name suggests, are made from bamboo fabric – a sustainable material that is incredibly advantageous to the environment. In addition to being fully recyclable, bamboo requires less energy and water to grow than other plants and trees. These lanyards are also soft and more comfortable than many standard, polyester fabrics.
Phthalate-Free Strap Clips and Badge Holders: Phthalate is a major pollutant to the environment and has shown to have an adverse effect on health and reproduction in humans and animals. Investing in phthalate-free strap clips and badge holders can help to reduce the number of toxic chemical compounds in our air, and can preserve the safety and health of your employees.
Energy Start Certified Printers: Several ID card manufacturers feature Energy Star Certified ID card printers. Energy Star Certified products use less electricity to operate, which in turn saves your organization money and helps protect the environment
Rewritable Cards: Another way to reduce waste is by utilizing rewritable ID cards. Instead of throwing out cards and reissuing new ones, rewritable cards can be “erased” and reprinted. Effective uses for rewritable cards include visitor badges, tickets or passes where the card is simply updated with a new number or date. These cards can only be printed in monochrome, however, so they are not suitable for photo ID cards.