National Trust ditches plastic membership cards
The National trust is set to ditch its plastic membership card for a more environmentally friendly alternative made from paper. My new cards will be made for a strong durable paper with a water-based coating. The move is part of a range of measures being introduced by the trust to protect the environment. The trust is also looking to remove plastic from its greeting cards.
The National trust is swapping its annual plastic membership card for a compost double alternative and we should be receiving hours from the beginning of March as the new cards are issued to over 5 million members. Although we are reassured, they will be made from a type of strong durable paper with a tough coating I am worried that as in the past I have got drenched while thoroughly enjoying National trust property visits. I’m also assured that the paper is certified by the Forest stewardship Council which promotes the responsible management of forests worldwide. I am concerned that chopping trees down the membership cards does in turn remove the oxygenating process of tree growth which helps us breathe.
The changed should avoid the use of around 12 a half ton of plastic which also has other additives derived from Chalk, a by-product of the clay mining in Cornwall. The trust tells me that the new cards which will be rolled out from next month can be compost it all recycled with paper as part of the regular household recycling once membership expires.
The trust is also hoping to remove plastic from its greeting cards and wrapping paper and is also trialling drink dispensers at its sites to reduce the sale of bottled drinks. This will in turn reduce the amount of single use containers and they are also looking at alternatives for plastic tree guards and working with suppliers to find more sustainable ways of packaging for shipping of goods.
The trust tell me that they have taken significant steps to make these improvements but with an organisation the size of the National trust this will take some time. My concern is that it would have been far easier to produce an app for our smart phones where people could use these and reject the use of a traditional card whether plastic or not which still has to be delivered to millions of homes up and down the country.