Starting from May, UniCredit Bulbank will replace its existing Visa Debit & Visa Gold Debit cards with new generation cards made of 84% eco-friendly materials. The initiative is implemented in cooperation with Visa in Bulgaria. 

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Debit cards made of plastic, once expired, can contribute to plastic waste issues once they end up in landfills and waterways. This will not be the case for our debit cards in Bulgaria thanks to UniCredit Bulbank’s partnership with Visa to offer biodegradable cards to its employees and customers. 

According to UniCredit Bulbank, in 2021 a little over 360,000 PVC debit cards (Visa Debit & Visa Gold Debit) were issued and reissued in the country. These cards will now be replaced by cards made of eco-friendly materials. The new PLA debit cards will be available to both new customers of the bank and those who either need to or would like to replace their existing standard PVC cards. In addition to being made of biodegradable materials, the new debit cards also feature a fresh innovative design.

"As a leader in the banking sector, we are delighted to be able to offer debit cards made of eco-friendly materials. We believe that any action to limit the use of plastic products is an action with a long-term positive effect on the environment. UniCredit Bulbank’s ambition to be a sustainable company is a two-way process. On the one hand, the entire bank team is strongly committed to sustainable business management and the search for innovative solutions that will allow us to do so. On the other hand, we believe in the commitment of our clients to ESG transformation, and by joining our efforts, together we will achieve a greener and more sustainable future for all", commented Tsvetanka Mincheva, Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit Bulbank.

The initiative has been made possible thanks to collaboration with Thales, which helps banks implement environmentally and socially responsible practices. Thales uses high-tech tools to create PLA debit cards with the strength and lifespan of the usual PVC cards, but which are 84% made of eco-friendly materials with the core of the PLA card made 100% of corn fibre. Moreover, the plant-based materials used for PLA cards do not emit toxic fumes when burned, thus further reducing the risk of environmental pollution related to our bank cards.

Restricting the use of PVC debit cards is part of UniCredit Bulbank’s ESG strategy for its retail business in line with the Group’s ESG commitments and strategy.

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