Innovation: Loyalty cards could become 'corny'
The term 'plastic cards' is set to become outdated and replaced as the use of oil-based plastics is increasing seen as unfriendly toward the environment, according to card maker Arthur Blank & Co., which has unveiled a practical alternative made of corn.
The Arthur Blank CornCard USA is a corn-based card that uses the renewable and domestically grown corn resource as an alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastic. CornCard USA is identical to traditional plastic cards in look, feel, and durability while offering the same reliability and functionality.
According to Eric Blank, executive vice president for Arthur Blank & Co., "Major national retailers and quick service restaurants are already considering alternatives to traditional petroleum-based plastics for a variety of reasons, such as stable prices and environmentally friendly materials."
Reasons for change It is true that the price of oil (on which all plastics are based) over the past five years has risen sharply. While this rise may not seem significant to the price of a single plastic card, a card issuer (whether a bank, gift card company, or loyalty programme operator) that issues millions of cards will have noticed the difference in price. Over the same period, Blank points out, US domestic corn prices have remained relatively constant.
Arthur Blank & Co. is leading the charge toward corn card usage under the 'green plastic' banner. With a very few exceptions, the CornCard is available throughout the company's whole product range, including gift cards, loyalty cards, debit cards, membership cards, and ID cards.