Best Buy's new paper gift card is better for the environment

Best Buy is making the switch to paper gift cards. Here's why.
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Best Buy is going greener with recyclable paper gift cards.

The company, which is headquartered in Minnesota, says its new "Go Green" gift card will be significantly better for the environment

Traditional cards are made out of polyvinyl chloride (or PVC) – that's not usually accepted by city recycling programs, Best Buy notes.

But everything about the new cards can either be recycled or dissolved in water.

The card itself is made from paper that's Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. That certification is recognized around the world as meaning a product comes "from well managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits."

The "Go Green" cards are also printed with ink that's water soluble and held together with a glue that's water soluble.

Even though the new cards are paper, Best Buy says you don't have to worry about them tearing or falling apart.

"The durability matches those of traditional gift cards – the paper ones are stiff and will slide into your wallet just as easily," the news release says.

Gift cards and the environment

Gift cards continue to be one of the most requested gifts in America, according to CNN.

Almost two billion cards were sold in 2014.

Earthworks – which makes recyclable alternatives – says gift cards, driver's licenses and other cards often get thrown away. And altogether, 75 million pounds of PVC material becomes waste every year.

If you're wondering what to do with the used up plastic cards you still have, Recycle Nation recommends asking retailers if they have a card recycling program.

Or you can check to see if you can reuse the card by loading more money onto it. Starbucks and Walmart will let you do that.

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