I found these at the grocery store last night. There was a red sale sticker on the shelf. I wonder why. They are part of a deck called the "ECO EDITION" and carry the following:
OUR PLAYING CARDS ARE CRAFTED FROM
SUSTAINABLE FOREST PAPER,
STARCH-BASED LAMINATING GLUE AND
VEGETABLE-BASED PRINTING INKS.
THIS PACK OF CARDS IS RECYCLABLE.
Recyclable, yes, but is it usable? It was amazing how long it took to pick these four particular cards from the deck. The Ace of Spades was easy — it was also on top — but the rest were almost impossible. I can only imagine the prodigious feats of concentration required to play a game at stakes with ranking suits. I increased the contrast so you wouldn't think I was exaggerating. In reality, they all look approximately the same. The secret message, I believe, is that recycling is for nitwits. Bicycle can now say they tried, but their customers resisted. I'm sure there are inks that approximate truer colors, but that wasn't the point. If they used those, no one would know the difference. No one would wonder what the hell was going on.
If this is the fate of recyclability, then give me red, black and white. Yes, that's the ticket. And don't bother updating those factories. It's a subtle ploy. Endorse green for the purpose of avoiding it. We should give credit where credit is due. They did their worst, and they succeeded.