On Tuesday, a bill that would ban plastic gift cards in California moved forward where it would prohibit the distribution of plastic gift carts.
The bill, introduced by Senator Monique Limón, aims to to transition the state away from the use of plastic gift cards to more environmentally sustainable gift card options (SB 728).
“My bill #SB728 will speed up CA’s transition away from the use of plastic gift cards to more environmentally friendly gift card options,” said Limon in a Tweet.
According to Senate Bill 728:
SB 728, as amended, Limón. Plastic gift cards: prohibition.
Existing law regulates the manufacture, sale, and disposal of various plastic products, including, but not limited to, single-use foodware accessories, single-use carryout bags, trash bags, packaging containers, and microbeads.
This bill would prohibit, beginning January 1, 2027, a retailer from selling, offering for sale, or distributing plastic gift cards, except those that are both usable with multiple unaffiliated sellers of goods and that have the expiration date, if any, printed on the card. The bill would authorize a retailer to continue to sell, offer for sale, or distribute an existing stock of plastic gift cards until January 1, 2028, as specified. The bill would authorize various entities to enforce these provisions, and would impose specified civil penalties for violations of these provisions. The bill would specify that its provisions do not apply to a plastic card used to pay public transit fares.
The bill passed the State Assembly in a 53-18 vote. On May 22, the State Senate passed the bill in a 31-9 vote.
Back in May, Mastercard announced it is accelerating efforts to remove first–use, PVC plastics from payment cards on its network by 2028. This initiative further reinforces the company’s sustainability commitments and scales the accessibility of more sustainable card offerings for consumers seeking a way to reduce the environmental impact of their wallet.
“The world has a plastic problem. Solving it will be a whole-of-society task, yet efforts are often taken in isolation or without coordination,” said Sandeep Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Products & Innovation, Asia Pacific, Mastercard. With this sustainable cards effort, Mastercard is bringing its global network of banks, financial institutions and consumers – who collectively hold more than 3 billion Mastercard cards – together to build a greener payments sector through collaboration and partnership.”