Australian lender Gateway Bank has launched an eco-friendly debit card as part of its sustainability efforts.

The bank claimed that the new Eco Debit Card offering is the first of its kind from an Australian bank.

The body of the card is made of bio-based and degradable polymer Polylactic Acid (PLA). However, the security features and magnetic stripe are made of other materials.

The Eco Debit Card uses 65% less energy during production compared to conventional plastic cards. It is also said to generate 68% fewer greenhouse gases.

Additionally, the card will also degrade faster without damaging the environment.

In a statement, Gateway Bank said: “When the Gateway Eco Debit Card expires and it’s time to securely cut it up and throw it out, it will degrade up to 20 times faster than a traditional payment card and won’t release any toxins into the soil.

“Even when incinerated, the card does not emit any hazardous or toxic gases.”

Customers can use the Gateway Visa Eco Card at all Visa accepted places around the world. It can also be used to withdraw local currencies as well as for online and over the phone transactions.

The card is designed by eco-artist Jane Gillings. It carries a notch at the top right hand corner for easier identification by visually impaired customers.

Gateway Bank also introduced two variable rate Green Home Loan products along with the eco friendly card. The offerings will provide additional discount to energy efficient properties and environmentally friendly initiatives at homes.

It also launched a personal loan service to enable customers carry out green upgrades at home and other premises.