American Express Takes an Eco-Friendly Step: Introducing Ocean Plastic Cards

American Express announced a new partnership with Parley, an organization focused on eliminating marine plastic pollution, last Thursday. As part of the new partnership, American Express introduced its first card manufactured using plastic recovered from oceans and coasts

American Express announced a new partnership with Parley, an organization focused on eliminating marine plastic pollution, last Thursday. As part of the new partnership, American Express introduced its first card manufactured using plastic recovered from oceans and coasts. While the card is currently in a prototype stage, it is expected to be released to the public within the next twelve months.According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans discard about 33.6 million tons of plastic each year, but only 9 percent is ever recycled. Experts estimate that more than 157 million tons of plastic waste has ended up in the ocean over the last several decades. With about 1.04 billion credit cards currently in use in the United States, credit cards play a sizeable role in the pollution issue that Parley is seeking to eliminate. Assuming credit cards are discarded at the same rate as other plastics, credit cards can be expected to add an additional 6 million tons of plastic waste over the next five years.This effort adds another significant brand to Parley’s portfolio of partners. The organization has previously worked with Adidas to create recycled plastic shoes, and just recently created recycled plastic jerseys for several Major League Soccer clubs to wear on Earth Day. The partnership with American Express, however, is Parley’s first partnership with a major credit card issuer.Doug Buckminster, President of Global Consumer Services at American Express stated: “Our oceans play a vital role in our lives, the health of our planet, and the health of travel and tourism, which American Express has long supported. It’s important that we raise awareness and do our part to keep our oceans blue.” Buckminster further elaborated that he hoped this partnership with Parley would show American Express’ dedication to supporting communities and encouraging sustainability.In addition to recycled ocean plastic cards, American Express pledged to adjust its in-house practices to align more fully with Parley’s plastic recycling philosophy. This change includes phasing out single-use plastic straws in office spaces, eliminating all single-use plastic offerings in airport lounges, and pursuing a zero-waste certification for its headquarters in New York City within in the next ten years.

Taft Anderson

Taft Anderson is the former Product Marketing Manager of Swipesum. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis' Olin Business School, Taft is a content and branding expert.

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