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How to print more sustainable ID Cards

How to print more sustainable ID Cards

A few simple ways to make your ID cards more sustainable.

As more organisations aim to reduce their use of non-renewable plastic and fly the sustainable flag high, the annual renewal of your staff ID cards is an ideal place to start.

We look at a few simple steps you can take to make your ID cards or Visitor passes more eco-friendly.

Choose a recycled plastic card
The easiest eco option is switching from printing on regular plastic cards to 100% recycled plastic cards.

Capable for use with all major brands of ID card printers, the recycled plastic cards perform exactly the same as regular plastic and can also be recycled following use.

The eco cards require no change to your regular printing process. We've also priced them so that they're no more expensive than standard plastic cards, because we don't believe you should pay more for doing the right thing.

To us, it's a no brainer.

Ditch plastic altogether and choose paper
If you're printing temporary ID cards or visitors passes, eco-friendly paper cards could fit the bill brilliantly. Be aware that not all ID Card Printers are capable of printing on paper cards, so do check with the information that came with your printer first. The Evolis Zenius and Evolis Primacy 2 are two that do.

A durable eco alternative, the paper cards can be recycled in the regular paper recycling collection.

These paper cards are limited to black and white printing.

Quick Tip: Paper cards can be shredded before recycling if personal data is contained on the cards, enhancing both security and sustainability at the same time.

FSC approved, the paper cards are sourced from sustainable forests and meet the composability standard EN 14995, making them the perfect eco-friendly option especially for temporary uses.

Choose rewritable cards (if you have a rewritable ID card printer)
Many ID Card Printers have a rewritable function built-in, like the Evolis Primacy 2, Magicard Pronto, Magicard Pronto100, Magicard 300 & 600, though it's often an under utilised piece of technology.

Rewrite technology is a method of printing that allows you to print onto a rewritable card using heat alone - the cards feature a thermo-sensitive layer that changes colour when heat is applied by the printer. In other words, no ribbon is used.

Rewritable cards can then be ‘cleared’ by the printer and reused up to 500 times.

The benefit to both the environment and your budget is huge with no need to spend money on ribbons or multiple packs of plastic cards - and there's no waste to dispose of at the end either.

So although a pack of rewritable cards is considerably more expensive than regular cards, the cost savings when compared to the amount of ribbons and plastic cards you would usually use is huge.

If you're buying a new ID printer, consider its eco footprint first
Some manufacturers have considered the impact of the printer's packaging and build, and indeed in how they construct the ribbons.

There are also a number of eco schemes that printer brands are running with each purchase that may sway your decision making when you’re in the market for a new ID card printer.

For example, Magicard, in partnership with, is planting a tree with every Magicard purchased.

Whilst this is not a direct sustainable switch to your processes, the purchase of a printer with any eco scheme still contributes to a better carbon footprint.

Take our four-part ID card printer quiz and find the perfect printer for you in under one minute.

By considering one of the above eco-friendly alternatives, it’s a no-brainer to switch to 100% recycled plastic cards at the very least. It's a positive environmental change at no extra cost you can shout about.

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