Originally Posted by TheLaughingMan
They are not getting physical copies. As a digital distributor, EA will just send you generated keys printed on little cards. To save you and themselves money by avoiding shipping 15,000 credit card sized keys, they simply photograph them in mass and send you the picture of yours. Once you activate it via Origin, no one can take it from you (except EA who hasn't do that yet).
It seems shady cause it would not be allowed here cause possession is 9/10 of the law. The shredding part is to let you know once they send you the e-mail with the picture, the card is destroyed so no one will be able to steal your key.
That is what logic would suggest but check out the pics half way down page, they even have a proof piece of paper in pic: