Plastic free cards and general financial ethics

Hi there

I’ve been researching new ethical banks as I want to ditch my NatWest one.

It’s been a toss-up between Monzo and Triodos. Monzo have such user friendliness so I’ve signed up. But Triodos are really on the case with their investment ethics, transparency and commitment to improvement in all areas of energy and waste etc.

I’m wondering if Monzo have any plans for a plastic free card?

I’d love to know more about what Monzo do with investing monies and that the information is accessible for all customers.

One of the big priorities for me is knowing that my money is ethically invested and that the general ethos of the company is ethical, striving always for improvement.

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No plans. Even the metal card has to be half plastic.

There’s a thread on ethics here:

Although it’s quite dated now and the thread got really silly. Essentially Monzo is Bank of England / Loan Book in terms of where your money goes.

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You should worry a lot lot lot more about the investment ethics than the amount of plastic in the card.

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Plastic is still useful in long term situations like cards or containers where you keep it for years. It’s the everyday throwaway plastics like veg wrap, cotton buds, straws etc, crappy plastic toys like McDonald’s happy meals that are the issue.

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And the big players like Amazon packaging!

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Monzo have talked about having a future option of no card for those just using Google/Apple pay.

Monzo need to build app ATM withdrawals like NatWest to do that.

I just need ASDA unmanned fuel pumps to do contactless, but I could just use Sainsbury’s as it’s all pricey these days.

Hi Natalia, these are good points, and there has been some previous discussion on this forum a long time ago.

This is something that has previously been raised, but we haven’t had any recent updates. I wonder if @Anthony has any further info he can share?

In terms of general ethics, as others have said Monzo doesn’t currently invest in other companies.

Monzo have a transparency dashboard that addresses several issues, including their investments. In particular, investment is addressed on the ethics page (linked from the dashboard).

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Me too. ^^ I’ve not really considered any of the savings pots available through Monzo because I couldn’t find anything about where my money as going.

On a related note, I thought I’d seen that Monzo had been awarded an Ethical Consumer Best Buy label but I can’t see any evidence of it anymore. Maybe it was revoked?

Edit: Looks like they had a Best Buy label back in July last year, but I don’t think Monzo themselves made a fuss of it and they’re not marked as a best buy on the website anymore.

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Monzo metal will be less plastic and last longer hopefully

I hope I’m not the only person who said ‘who’? :grin:

I really think this is over-played (I am talking generally, not specifically to the original poster). Just imagine the carbon footprint of your phone which you use for the Monzo app to function - no doubt it is replaced every few years? And the others in your household too? Do you drive? Electric car? Throw away plastic toothbrushes a little too frequently?

A plastic card which lasts for years really pales into significance when put in those terms?

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That’s a good point - why do cards expire after just a few years?

Reminds me of people saying that Attenborough is their hero and whining about McDonalds straws while eating beef and fish, lobbying for glass over plastic packaging on goods that are shipped from abroad, having children, flying to European holidays and using tons of water to rinse plastic bottles that end up being burned in China.

Good intentions and feeling good about yourself are a drop in the ocean and often detract from the more meaningful changes we can make to our lives.

Adopt. Read seat61. Go vegan. Don’t waste energy about a debit card that literally has to be made out fof plastic in order to function.

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Don’t quote me but I believe it is a durability thing as the card tends to fade

I imagine it is also a security thing as well but being able to generate new cvc on an app would solve that

quote :grimacing:

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I thought that might be the two reasons. With contactless the first is rendered null (unless you’re one of the sad people vain enough to care what your card looks like) (and you could manually order a replacement anyway, and you’ve solved the second one).

Maybe this should be a new feature request?

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I’m not sure that questioning the ethics of the original poster, or suggesting what importance this should be to them really helps anything. These are clearly important issues to some people, and it was a straightforward set of questions. I think it’s more welcoming to provide what information and help we can, rather than questioning whether someone has the right priorities (according to who?). There are a lot of assumptions what else someone is or isn’t doing in the criticism on this thread.

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I specifically said I was talking generally, and NOT talking about the original poster. I didn’t realise that a wider discussion was not allowed.

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Who in this thread has questioned the ethics of the OP? It’s great they are asking about Monzo’s stance.

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Plastic itself isn’t the issue - as I understand it. I read somewhere that the carbon footprint of producing all the carrier bags used in Britain over an entire year before pricing was introduced produced as much carbon as four return 747 flights to the US.

The compelling reason to reduce use of plastic is that it usually isn’t biodegradable, and if not disposed of properly or recycled, it harms the environment by making its way into the doors chain and littering the oceans and land. Plastic fibres from synthetic clothing also wear off into microparticules (and fluff), eventually entering the air and water.

The use of plastic cards needn’t be bad for the environment if they’re then disposed of properly. That’s incumbent on you, the customer. (And, to be completely honest, I think old bank cards are far less likely to end up as litter than plastic bags or packaging!)

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I guess providers such as Curve could play a part in the reduction of plastic in circulation in the form of cards. Banks issue virtual cards (debit and credit) … these are loaded on to your ‘common’ card, so you are only carrying around 1 card and that could be hard wearing metal. This would need some work as I believe you can only add ‘real’ cards to Curve.

Also, when I lived in Brazil a few years ago, banks issued a joint credit / debit card … a terminal would ask you if you wanted to charge to debit or credit … a potential reduction in cards too.