If playground equipment and snuggly hats can be made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) soda bottles, why not credit credit cards? At the recent Cards 2009 event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, IntelCav rolled out EchoCard, a new series of card products made out of materials recovered from plastic bottles.

When dumped in a landfill, plastic soda bottles can take up to 100 years to fully break down. In the latest green play to catch on in the card industry, IntelCav - which is approved by Visa, MasterCard, Credicard and American Express-manufactures about 15 million cards per month; one thousand cards are the equivalent of about 55 plastic bottles removed from the environment. And it's not just that they're made from recycled garbage, the new IntelCav cards dramatically reduce the half-life of the bottles: in their new form they take only 80 days to degrade. But plastic bottles aren't the only biodegradable card material out there these days; also available are cards made from corn and a Discover card made from biodegradable PVC.

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