Gift cards are becoming more popular each year and hotel keys are still just as prevalent. The question is what to do with these when you are done. The cards are made of PVC plastic and are one of the toughest things to recycle because of their complexity. Most areas do not accept them curbside. But don’t fret, there are steps you can take to cut down on the number of cards in circulation. Give electronic gift cards, email them or print them out on a half sheet of paper and wrap that. Paper is far easier to recycle then the cards! Another way to help is to stay at a hotel that uses keyless entry. Download the app on your phone and you don’t even need to stop at the front desk. Just walk straight to your room and enjoy!
So what can we do after we reduce? The next step involves changing our habits a bit. Sometimes we remember to leave that key in the room so that they can be used again, but other times they end up in our pockets and follow us home after a trip. Try and remember that the easiest thing to do is give the key back to the hotel. Check your pockets and wallet before you depart to make sure you leave all your keys behind. Hotels have to maintain their inventory of keys and if they are returned then they don’t have to order more. And those puppies are durable so they could last a long time! Gift cards have the same reuse potential. A few stores let you reload the same ones!
It is very important to make sure we are reducing and reusing these items because there isn’t currently an organization that recycles the plastic cards. PVC is a great material that can be recycled an infinite amount of times so we hope that you will give them every possibility to be used again and companies will see the same recycling potential. Giving up a couple minutes of your time is far less painful than knowing you are partially responsible for the 75 million pounds of gift cards and hotel keys that end up in the landfill every year!