THE ENVIRONMENTAL WASTE CAUSED BY GIFT CARDS
The # of plastic gift cards printed in the US gift cards
Plastic required to make those gift cards in plastic
Environmental impact of making the plastic CO2 released
CO2 released by different causes
Gift cards don't cause the largest amount of CO2 emissions but the amounts emitted through their production is more than some small towns and many large government buildings.
Perhaps the bigger problem is that the environmental impact of gift cards is so hidden that few people ever really recognize it and allow it to affect their decisions.
SOURCES & METHODOLOGY
1.6 billion plastic gift cards
18M tons of PVC
5.07g of PVC per card , 1.6 billion cards x 5.07g = 8.1mm kg
33,260 tons of CO2
21 grams of CO2 per card , 21 grams times 1.6 billion cards = 33,260 metric tons
Average car in the U.S. (25 mpg, 12,000 miles / year) releases around 9,300 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. 4.2 metric tons of CO2 , = ~9,300 lbs