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The Benefits of Recycled And Recyclable Plastics for ID Products

25 Jun The Benefits of Recycled And Recyclable Plastics for ID Products
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The Benefits of Recycled And Recyclable Plastics for ID Products

For many organisations, having sustainable solutions is crucial to ensuring that their daily operations are as eco-friendly as possible, and many see biodegradable materials as the solution. This, however, is not always the case.

Whilst biodegradable sounds like the most natural form of material that can be accessed, it often has a bigger negative impact on the environment. Here at ID Card Centre, we research all eco-friendly options to ensure that they are as kind to the environment as they claim to be.

Do biodegradable plastic cards and accessories have a negative impact on the environment?

There are different types of biodegradable plastic, and the impact they have on the planet is dependent on what they are originally made from. Some biodegradable materials are made from naturally occurring resources, but many of the products available today are standard PVC or other types of plastic, coated in an additive which is then counted towards their biodegradable status.

The issue with the latter is that whilst these products may be biodegradable in certain conditions, most countries - the UK in particular - does not have the correct facilities for materials to degrade in an environmentally friendly way. 

For these materials to biodegrade in a non-harmful way, landfills must have a specific biological make-up which encourages microbial activity. If these conditions are not met, the items do not degrade and therefore contribute to plastic waste which may damage the environment.

Alongside this, some people may think that biodegradable materials can be discarded in their regular recycling collection. This is highly damaging to the recycling process, as the additive can contaminate recycled plastic and prevent it from being fully recyclable and used to make something else - therefore adding to unnecessary waste.

Recyclable plastics: an alternative to biodegradable

To prevent accidental contamination, we recommend switching to plastics that are fully recyclable. To ensure you're using the right products, we advise checking the type of plastic that the item is made from.

There are 7 types of plastics, but not all are commonly recycled. There are two main ones:

  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) 
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE)

Products made from these materials are marked with a 1 (PET) or a 2 (HDPE). 

Alternatively, if you can't find what you're looking for in an eco-friendly material, many products are made in Britain with a significantly lower carbon footprint when compared to similar items manufactured overseas.

Reducing your environmental impact with eco-friendly ID products

There are a number of products which are made from eco-friendly materials, all of which can be combined to create a durable identity solution.

Blank white cards

Colour printed paper cards

The very base of your identity solution is the cards that you print onto, and traditionally these would be made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride). PVC is widely used across a range of applications, but is difficult to recycle due to the complex process. It can also contaminate regular plastic recycling streams, preventing them from being reused for different products.

To prevent this and easily dispose of cards after their life cycle, we recommend switching to paperboard cards. Manufactured by enviricard, these paper cards are made from 100 % paper, whilst remaining durable and versatile. The entire production process is motivated by sustainable commitments, with all materials used coming from bioenergy and natural sources. 

Print in colour and produce double sided designs with a standard desktop ID card printer (for full compatibility, please see here). 

These cards are ideal for replacing your plastic ID badges, especially for short term use such as event ticketing or membership cards. We recommend shredding them after use, before taking them to your local recycling centre for secure disposal.

Magnetic stripe cards

If you require access control cards or a more long term solution, we stock a full range of eco cards made from more sustainable plastics. FOTODEK® offer white plastic cards that degrade into compost within three years of disposal. These can either be plain plastic ID cards or can feature magnetic stripes or signature panels, for the production of access control printed cards.

Lanyards, ID badge holders and other accessories

ID card holders

To display your ID cards, we recommend using ID holders made from rigid plastic. These are ideal for ensuring your staff can always be identified, and with our range of colours, you can match any branding.

But just how are they sustainable?

ID Card Centre's Evohold range are recyclable ID card holders, meaning they can be disposed of in your regular recycling collection. Alongside this, many recyclable card holders are manufactured in the UK. This reduces their carbon footprint as the products do not have to be imported and flown overseas, therefore making them a more green option for organisations looking for eco friendly products.


Many lanyards are made from RPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), which is a material made from 100% recycled plastics. This is usually things like plastic bottles and packaging, that have already been post-consumer recycled and then turned into something new.

Alongside RPET, we also offer lanyards that are made from bamboo. As a natural product, we can offer premium quality personalisation, which can include printing your logo and other personal information. Bamboo offers natural antibacterial properties, making it ideal for a range of environments.

Lanyards that are made from natural and recycled material are durable and comfortable, offering a range of different clip types depending on your requirements. 

All of our lanyards come with plastic j clips, metal clips or badge reels to help you attach them to your accessories.

Additional information

To find out more about ID Card Centre's eco credentials, please don't hesitate to get in touch with a member of our expert team. We offer bespoke products, or alternatively, you can shop our range of stock items for guaranteed high-quality customer service and fast delivery.