Biodegradable Credit Cards: The Good Kind Of Financial Breakdown

03/26/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

While archeologists might someday value these relics, most credit cards -- which are typically made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC -- outlive their usefulness after three years. And after expiration, they are cut up and thrown away, passing the rest of their indestructible lives in a landfill.

In December, Discover Financial Services introduced a biodegradable credit card that breaks down when exposed to microorganisms. Like a traditional card, it is also durable enough to stay intact in the dark pockets of your wallet and through normal wear and tear for at least four years.

However, in a "fertile" environment full of microorganisms, such as compost, waterways, the ocean, dirt and landfills, these biodegradable cards, its inventors say, break down.

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