Santander Portugal has partnered with Contisystems, the bank's card personalization partner, in a project to recycle expired and collected bank cards with the aim of reducing their environmental impact on society.

11 Aug 2021
Santander Portugal has been offsetting CO2 emissions in the production of plastic for cards since 2020 and produces cards in biodegradable material. Now, the bank wants to go even further, guaranteeing an ecologically responsible end of life for its cards which, after being recycled, will be used to manufacture street furniture.

Street furniture
Street furniture

Expired cards can be returned in two ways. Customers can place them in an ATM, which will automatically collect them. Alternatively, when customers receive a replacement for their expired card, they will also receive an envelope which they can place their old card in, following all the instructions provided and mail it back free of charge.

The card will be sent to Contisystems, which for each kilogram of cards collected, will plant a tree and maintain it for five years. The plantations are integrated into volunteer initiatives and environmental projects taking place in protected areas. Species will be planted that enhance survival rate, biodiversity and fire resilience.

After being returned, the cards are collected by a specialized Contisystems team and destroyed, leading to the creation of wood chips. This material is delivered to Extruplás, where the wood chips undergo a transformation process, creating urban furniture, ready to be used.

Santander Portugal is the first bank of the Santander Group in Europe to recycle collected cards, thus taking another step in its sustainability and environmental preservation policy.