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While PVC, also known as vinyl, is the primary material used for payment cards in Australia, The Mutual Bank is seeking to reduce our carbon footprint. We’ve made the switch from PVC to a more environmentally friendly material for our Mutual Visa Debit Card.
Our Mutual Visa Debit Card is made from non-toxic Polylactic Acid (PLA), an industrially compostable material derived from renewable organic material - meaning there’s no petroleum.
While the body of the card itself is made up of 100% plant material, some other features of the cards such as the microchip, antenna, magnetic strip, Visa hologram and signature panel must be sourced from other materials in order for the cards to be functional and Visa compliant.
The card is made from 90% plant-based material which reduces pollution in both the manufacture and disposal process by using zero petroleum. PLA is industrially compostible, non-toxic and non-hazardous producing no toxins when destroyed during incineration.
Our card has tactile features to assist visually impaired users. A cut-out notch on the bottom of the card can help blind and visually impaired members insert the card into ATMs and card readers. Two raised dots feature on the Mutual Visa Debit Card to distinguish it from the Mutual Visa Credit Card.
A local artist from Wonnarua Country has created a unique design for the card that celebrates The Mutual Bank’s connection to the community for more than 130 years.
Take a conscious step towards a better world with a Mutual Visa Debit Card today.
PVC, also known as vinyl, is regarded as one of the most environmentally damaging plastics. It’s difficult to recycle due to the huge volumes of additives it contains.
According to Greenpeace, of the 381 million tonnes of plastic produced globally since 2015, 55% goes straight to landfill when discarded.
Greenpeace also estimates nine million tonnes of plastic each year enters our oceans.
Climate change and environmental impact is becoming increasingly important to many Australians, including The Mutual Bank and its members.
The Mutual Bank is seeking to reduce our carbon footprint to help our future by switching from PVC, which is the primary material used for payment cards in Australia, to an ecofriendly alternative.
The new Mutual Visa Debit Card is made from Polylactic Acid (PLA) which is made from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugar cane.
The cards are new to the market and made up of 90% PLA which is industrially compostable.
While the body of the card itself is made from 100% plant-based material, some other features of the cards such as the microchip, magnetic strip, Visa hologram and signature panel must be sourced from other materials in order for the cards to be functional and scheme compliant.
PLA, or Polylactic Acid, is a thermoplastic polyester created by fermenting plant starch, which is turned into lactic acid, which is then made into polyactic acid. PLA is typically made from fermented plant starch such as from corn, cassava, sugarcane or sugar beet pulp.
PLA is a reliable material which is also used in medical implants, packaging and many household items. PLA is industrially compostable and produces no toxins when destroyed during incineration.
PLA is a versatile and environmentally considerate material that is used in a variety of household items including plastic bottles, medical devices and implants, food packaging, tea bags, disposable cups, nappies and 3D printing.
In getting the new card to you, we have also thought of the environment with biodegradable packaging:
PLA is manufactured at a plant in Germany where they strictly follow all European regulations for substances handling and working conditions.
Currently all PLA cards from our card supplier are manufactured in Spain. All manufacture and personalisation facilities comply with the manufacturer’s Code of Conduct. The manufacturer also participates in the UN Global Compact which advocates responsibility in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environmental protection, and anticorruption.
Unlike traditional payment cards that are made from fossil-fuel based PVC, the Mutual Visa Debit Card consists almost entirely of a bio sourced material that comes from sustainable plant material.
Once your card expires, please cut through the chip and your personal details and ensure secure disposal in your normal waste. Rest assured that you are once again helping the environment as PLA cards emit no toxic gases during incineration or decomposition, and will not decompose into harmful microplastics, making them less harmful to the environment even in landfill.
Yes, your new card will work the same as the older PVC cards at ATMs and merchants which accept Visa. Remember, before you travel, to check with our Member Services Team as there are some countries where access to Visa may not be available or easily accessible.
The eco-friendly Mutual Visa Debit Card has been developed to perform the same as the old PVC cards while requiring 65% less energy, 68% fewer greenhouse gases, and zero toxins.
We are moving away from PVC cards as PVC is regarded as one of the most environmentally damaging plastics due to its difficulty to be recycled because of the huge volumes of additives it contains.
Saretta Fielding is an award-winning Aboriginal artist of the Wonnarua Nation located in the Hunter Valley NSW where The Mutual Bank is based. Her artwork versatility is seen across a wide range of public artworks and mediums including fine art, public installations, and fashion.
Saretta’s unique art style combining traditional symbolism and storytelling alongside contemporary artform, and colour palette is fast becoming recognised nationally and internationally.
Her flair for interpreting natural elements and mediums demonstrates her passion for country and community, instantly grabbing attention, inviting the viewer to savour, connect and share in the rich and alive culture of Aboriginal Australia. Saretta loves the challenge of conveying to others, through art, how she is influenced by people, life experiences and natures beauty.
The new Mutual Debit Visa Cards are being phased in for members from December 2022. If your current card is damaged, lost, stolen or needs to be replaced due to fraud protection measures, you will receive a new PLA card in the mail.
When you receive your new Mutual Visa Debit Card please sign the back immediately.
Activate your card by choosing one of these options: