News Release - May 27, 2009

Check Out San Francisco Public Library’s New ecocard

For Immediate Release: May 27, 2009

Contacts: Michelle Jeffers (415) 557-4282

Check Out San Francisco Public Library’s New ecocard

Test project to evaluate new library cards made from corn

Known for its renewable and reusable resources, San Francisco Public Library is taking its eco-friendly credentials a step further with a new environmentally conscious library card. The new ecocard is made from corn. Not only is corn a sustainable and renewable resource as opposed to traditional petroleum-based plastics, but it can also be composted in the City’s composting system.

“Just like the issue of plastic water bottles, San Francisco is once again leading the way on alternatives to use of plastic,” explained Mayor Gavin Newsom. “By piloting a program to use biodegradable material for library cards, our Public Library is showing that real alternatives to the use of plastic exist.”

Sourced with the assistance of SF Environment, the new library card is being launched as a test project to evaluate its durability and usability. Patrons who obtain the new ecocards will be asked to volunteer their e-mail addresses so they can participate in a brief survey.

“We hope the new corn-based cards will turn out to be a good alternative to the traditional plastic library cards and that we can one day create all of the City’s library cards out of sustainable materials,” said Deputy City Librarian Jill Bourne. “The card is just one more way that the Library is working to instill more environmentally conscious practices in its operations while providing public information, programming and events focused on green issues.”

The Library will continue to offer its regular library cards which come in four colorful designs created by San Francisco students as well as a “classic” design. To avoid adding materials to the waste stream, the new ecocard will only be offered for free to new library card holders and may be obtained as a replacement for a lost card for a $1 fee.

“Products made from renewable resources are the wave of the future. Of course, we encourage SF residents to reuse their library cards, but once these eocards cards can no longer be used, people can return them to the earth by putting them in the City’s green compostables cart,” said Jack Macy, Commercial Zero Waste Coordinator at SF Environment.

The Library, in partnership with SF Environment and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, has initiated a “green stacks” program to promote sustainable and renewable efforts at the Library and around the City.

How to Get a Library Card.

About SFPL Green Stacks

San Francisco Public Library’s Green Stacks is a new program dedicated to helping the City go green. Libraries have always been dedicated to free, renewable resources and this new, citywide program highlights the environmental initiatives, programs, exhibitions and information created and supported by today’s library system. In partnership with SF Environment and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, Green Stacks empowers all library users to live a more eco-friendly life. Find out more at

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