Gemalto has launched the first biodegradable smart card, the Amsterdam-based digital security firm said last week. The card's body is made from renewable material, which is easily recycled and can be used as compost. It also can be incinerated without emissions of toxic fumes, according to the company. Gemalto also is offering packaging made from recycled paper and vegetable inks that reduce the product's environmental impact. The cards will be ready for mass production in the first quarter of 2010, the company says. The cards meet consumer demand for more environmentally sound products from banks around the world, Gemalto says. The company featured the cards at the Cartes & IDentificaiton conference last week in Paris. The biodegradable smart card is part of Gemalto's suite of eco-friendly cards, which includes paper-based short-term-use cards and chlorine-free alternatives to PVC plastic cards. "These products lie within the scope of Gemalto's corporate strategy to commit to sustainability, with products and manufacturing processes that have a reduced environmental impact," Tan Teck Lee, Gemalto chief innovation and technology officer, said in a statement. Gemalto also gives customers the opportunity to subscribe to the carbon-neutral production concept inspired by the Kyota (Japan) Protocol, a guideline based on offsetting carbon-dioxide emissions by helping to finance such ecological programs as reforestation or solar energy system installations in developing countries.


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