21 June 2023

HSBC UK and Mastercard launch payment card recycling pilot

A new recycling initiative to help recycle HSBC UK’s customers plastic payment cards, is being introduced into 8 HSBC branches from today (21st June), the Bank has announced.

Customers can securely shred their expired or unused payment cards, from any card issuer, in specialist machines at these branches, with the cards then being recycled into plastic pellets to be reused.

The initiative, as Mastercard’s first program partner, will initially last six months whilst HSBC gathers a greater understanding of customer needs and behaviours before deciding on next steps.

This complements other sustainability measures and earlier action by HSBC UK. These include:

  • Phasing out virgin PVC payment cards and introducing cards made from 85% recycled plastic, with an aim of converting all HSBC cards by 2026;
  • Increasing the length of the expiry dates of cards from three years to five years;
  • Partnering with One Tree Planted to allow customers to redeem credit card reward points for reforestation projects;
  • Introducing electric vehicle charging points into accessible dual-use branch car parks. Six have gone live so far, with more to follow. These are in addition to 80 charging points for employees across our office locations;
  • Sourcing sustainable elements, such as ocean-recovered plastic, fabric made from plastic bottles and recycled metal, in a more environmentally-friendly new branch uniform

Jose Carvalho, Head of Wealth and Personal Banking at HSBC UK, said: “Working sustainably to reduce, reuse and remove plastic from our business is something we have been doing successfully for a while, and we are continuing to look at new and different ways we can make a difference, reducing the environmental impact of our operations along the way.

“Cutting up your cards and disposing of them at home in your recycling bin might not be advisable, as payment cards are a complex mix of plastic, metal and a chip and could taint a batch of recycling, so providing this option in some of our branches provides customers with an important opportunity to recycle these securely and correctly. This recycling pilot will provide us with some very important insight and will inform our longer-term plans.”

Ajay Bhalla, President of Cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard, said: “We know people want to make more eco-friendly choices. Together we are pursuing a more sustainable, more environmentally conscious future. So today, we are reinforcing our commitment. Starting with HSBC we are enabling banks to reduce the environmental impact of their operations – for the benefit of people and planet.”

The recycling units will be installed in 8 branches across the UK including Liverpool Lord Street, Liverpool Allerton Road, London Canary Wharf, Leicester Clock Tower, York Parliament Street, Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Centenary Square and Milton Keynes Midsummer Place.

Media enquiries to:

Steve Gracey, HSBC UK Steve.gracey@hsbc.com 020 7991 4118

Tom Esslemont, Mastercard Tom.Esslemont@mastercard.com +44 7721 490132

Notes to editors:

HSBC UK serves over 14.75 million customers across the UK, supported by 24,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates. HSBC UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc.

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories. With assets of $2,990bn at 31 March 2023, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Their mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, their innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, they are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.