Credit Card Conservation

Robyn Okereke

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process consists of multiple steps:

1) the plastic core and laminate materials are compounded and cast into sheet form

2) the core is the printed with appropriate information

3) the laminates are applied to the core

4) finally the assembled sheet is cut into individual cards.

Raw Materials

Cards are made of several layers of plastic laminated together.

The core is commonly made from a plastic resin known as polyvinyl chloride acetate (PVCA). This resin is mixed with opacifying materials, dyes, and plasticizers to give it the proper appearance and consistency. This core material is laminated with thin layers of PVCA or clear plastic materials. These laminates will adhere to the core when applied with pressure and heat.

Materials for Decorating Cards

A variety of inks or dyes are also used for printing credit cards.

- available in a variety of colors and are designed for use on plastic substrates.

-Some manufacturers use special magnetic inks to print the magnetic stripe on the back of the card.

- inks are made by dispersing metal oxide particles in the appropriate solvents.

-Additional special printing processes are involved for cards, like VISA, which feature holograms.

How Used, How Long

Product is used online or by swiping on a machine. 3 years

After Use

Most common way of disposal: cutting them up and throwing them into the trash.

Another way: burn credit cards, worse and toxic to the air because it releases plastic, polyvinyl chloride acetate (PVCA), dyes, inks, holograms, metal, etc.

How long: can take 100-450 years to decompose.


Credit cards should be disposed of at banks. Banks should then send these credit cards to a place that melts the magnetic strip and numbers on a credit card to a flat surface. A new magnetic strip should be added onto the card, and then new numbers and letters should be added to the card.

3 Rs

Reducing, reusing, and recycling supports biodiversity by lessening the amount of waste that occupy landfills which seep into the water and atmosphere and hurt the habitats and existence of endemic species