Business news

Bank of Ireland introducing bio-sourced debit and credit cards

Posted By:
Bank of Ireland UK

27th Oct 2022

Bank of Ireland has begun rolling out bio-sourced debit and credit cards across its entire cards portfolio. This initiative, which over time will replace all debit and commercial credit plastic cards issued by Bank of Ireland UK in Northern Ireland, is supporting the reduction of single use plastic in Bank of Ireland’s products and services.

Bank of Ireland is the only Irish bank to offer a full suite of bio-sourced cards for both personal and business customers. The card is made from 84% bio-sourced renewable materials such as field corn and takes just six months to decompose unlike its plastic equivalent, which takes around 400 years. When the full portfolio of cards is switched to bio-sourced cards, a project expected to be completed by 2026, Bank of Ireland will save 17 tonnes of CO2 and 4.48 tonnes of plastic (equivalent to over 160,000 500ml plastic bottles) per year. The Bank introduced bio-sourced debit cards for third-level students in Ireland in September 2020.


The Bank is adopting a new modern design for its debit and credit cards, with a unique design for each customer segment (personal / business, debit card / credit card) so those with more than one card can easily identify the cards in their wallet. They feature flat printing, meaning the numbers don’t wear down as quickly, which extends the life of a card and reduces the number of replacement cards required. To aid accessibility, the font size of the card numbers has been increased and a notch cut out of the card to help people insert it into a card machine or ATM the right way. The bio-sourced cards will be provided to all new customers, existing customers as their old cards expire, and as a replacement for damaged, lost or stolen cards.


Eamonn Hughes, Chief Sustainability & Investor Relations Officer at Bank of Ireland Group, said: “If we are to live in a more sustainable way we need to do things differently, including through our everyday banking. The introduction of bio-sourced cards is a very practical way that Bank of Ireland and our customers can reduce our environmental footprint, and another important step in our Responsible and Sustainable Business strategy. The environmental credentials of these bio-sourced cards are exceptionally strong and with 60,000 already being used by third-level students, we will now radically expand the rollout across our entire cards business in Ireland and the UK.


“We understand the important role that banks can play in the move to a low-carbon environment, whether it’s enabling customers to move into greener homes or switch to electric vehicles, or through financing the development of the green energy sector.  The climate crisis is a critical threat – we are committed to making a positive contribution today, while also investing in tomorrow.”