5 ways to make your ID cards more sustainable

5 ways to make your ID cards more sustainable

ID specialist Databac shares some advice on reducing the impact of your identification cards

The majority of ID cards in the world are made of PVC, adding to the plastic waste crisis. While there are different interpretations of the meaning of ‘sustainability’, there are many ways in which to reduce the environmental impact of the cards used at your facilities.

  • Reduce virgin plastic content

The most immediate way to increase the sustainability of your cards is to increase their recycled content. There are cards made of recycled PVC reclaimed from scrap plastic left over from production. Many cards are available containing a choice of percentages of recycled material. PVC can be recycled many times without loss of quality. The card colour turns slightly greyer each time it is recycled, but this can be compensated by printing.

  • Use sustainable materials

Beyond recycled plastics, you can opt for cards made of bioplastics, degradable PVC, corn, chalk, wood and even wood fibre sourced from sustainably-managed forests! Care must be taken with biodegradable plastics, as some of them can still leave microplastics behind. Certified pulp board is an ideal option for visitor ID, ticketing or other short-term application.

  • Reuse cards for visitor ID

Single-use plastics are one of the biggest contributors to the plastic waste problem, so the more cards are used the better. For visitor control systems that use plastic credentials, rewritable cards are the perfect choice. Databac’s Data ReWrite cards, for example, can be printed, erased and reprinted up to 500 times, depending on the card printer used.


  • Use eco-friendly accessories

The accessories used to wear and display ID cards are often made of plastics but these, too, can be sustainable. Card holders can be compostable or made of rPET sourced from water bottles, while lanyards can be made of cotton, corn-based or bamboo. For conferences, EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) pouches can substitute vinyl. Consult your ID partner for options.

  • Go mobile for visitor ID and access control

In some circumstances, mobile credentials can replace plastic ID cards altogether. While the cost of a switch to a mobile-only access control system might be prohibitive right now, hybrid systems allow concurrent use of cards and mobile phones. Companies might also consider visitor management systems that leverage visitors’ mobile phones for ultimate convenience.


Click here to find out more about Databac cards or call us on 020 8546 9826 to discuss how you can make your ID cards more sustainable.