by Donna M. Airoldi | April 13, 2011

Looking for ways to make your gift card programs more eco-friendly? Now you can, with Monadnock Paper Mills’ new Envi Card Stock, a renewable wood fiber alternative to PVC card materials.

Unlike other paper gift cards, the rigid Envi—dubbed “The Un-Plastic” by Monadnock—can run on standard off-set printers; be embossed, foil stamped, and laminated; and accepts magnetic stripes, signature panels, scratch-offs, bar codes, and holograms. It is ideally suited for limited-use products, such as gift cards, loyalty cards, membership cards, hotel keys, and durable signage.

Envi Card Stock also is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, meaning that the forest products with which the card stock is made are harvested responsibly, and it is manufactured carbon neutrally through the acquisition of verified emission reductions (VERs) using 100 percent Green-e certified electricity though renewable energy certificates (RECs).

The Bennington, NH-based company designed the Envi Card Stock to compete directly with PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which costs about the same but never biodegrades. Its cost also is significantly less than PLA (polylactic acid) cards, which typically are made from corn starch and can be recycled, but require the presence of oxygen to biodegrade.

When the Envi card is exhausted, users can simply toss it into a paper recycling bin.

Envi Card Stock is available in 14-point and 28-point calipers. As for the card stock’s quantifiable durability, “it is currently in ANSI testing, which determines whether the card qualifies for different categories, such as gift card or credit card,” says David Lenox, a spokesperson for Monadnock. “We are expecting to know its maximum limits within 30 to 45 days, but we know it makes the gift card durability cut based on the customer tests and wide usage without problems.”

Companies currently testing or considering the card include major retailers popular in incentive gift card programs.