National Trust to switch membership cards to recyclable paper

The conservation charity says the move will cut its plastic use by as much as 12.5 tonnes and save about £250,000 a year

National Trust membership cards
National Trust membership cards

The National Trust has said it expects to cut its use of plastic by 12.5 tonnes a year because it will switch its membership cards to recyclable paper versions.

The conservation charity said the five million membership cards it sends out each year would be replaced by alternatives made from super-strength, durable paper.

The paper cards are cheaper to produce than the current plastic versions, a spokesman for the trust said, meaning the charity will save about £250,000 a year. 

The trust said it was the UK’s largest membership charity to drop plastic from membership cards. The change will take effect with new cards sent out from next week.

The trust said the paper cards would be produced in a mill that is powered by its own biomass.

The trust, which is in its 125th year, has already said it will phase out selling single-use plastics and has undertaken measures including replacing food and drink packaging with compostable alternatives and using reusable plant pots and trays at its nurseries.

Lizzy Carlyle, head of environmental practices at the trust, said: “As an organisation committed to creating and maintaining a healthy and more beautiful natural environment, we are determined to use every opportunity to minimise our use of non-renewable resources and cut down our waste.

“We have taken a number of significant steps to make improvements, but with an organisation the size of the National Trust it isn’t always something that happens overnight.

“We know there is much more we can do, and taking steps like replacing our five million membership cards will significantly help us to protect our environment.”

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