The National Trust has ditched plastic for the annual membership card it sends out to 5 million members, it has announced.

The new card will be made from a type of strong and durable paper featuring a tough water-based coating, with the paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. They will be produced in a mill powered by its own biomass.

The new cards will be entirely recyclable and compostable, as well as coming in at a fraction of the cost of the old cards, which were made of plastic and chalk, a byproduct of the mining industry.

The National Trust said the move was part of a range of measures it was bringing in to protect the environment and tackle the climate emergency, after a survey showed it was backed by the majority of its members.

Mel Nursaw, from the trust’s membership team, said: “Replacing our membership cards is a great step towards helping to reduce our impact on the environment, which we know is an important issue for so many of our supporters.”

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In total, the National Trust now has almost 6 million members, including children and life members who do not receive an annual card. The trust is also exploring how to transfer its physical cards to digital ones.

Elsewhere, the charity is looking at removing plastic from most of its greeting cards and wrapping paper, looking at alternatives to plastic tree guards and trialling drink dispensers to reduce sales of bottled drinks.

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