Polymer money – only longer lasting but not better?

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March 12, 2013 – After introducing polymer banknotes in 2011, Canada faces criticism due to supposedly weak points in the banknotes’ characteristics. Although laboratories had tested the new material, according to media reports the new money not only tends to stick together, especially when crisp and fresh. One man left a couple of new $100 notes nearby a radiator, the next day the notes were shrivelled and it took months to get them exchanged by the Bank of Canada. A bank teller said that he saw polymer banknotes melting down on a hot summer day when placed on a car dashboard. Some people complained about banknotes not being accepted by vending machines – and of course there was a controversy about whether the maple leaf, iconic symbol of Canada, depicted on every banknote was a Canadian or a Norwegian or even a composite maple leaf …

Beginning with the $100 banknote in 2010 Canada has changed from the paper-and-cotton banknotes to the polymer banknotes as having ben used for example in Australia and New Zealand for many years. Today the $50 and $20 bills are also made of polymer, the $5 and $10 notes are announced to be rolled out later this year.
Mark J. Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, has pushed changes from cotton to polymer in Canada. In July he is going to take over the office of Sir Mervyn King, Bank of England Governor. Mr Carney has already declared his inclination to introduce polymer banknotes in the UK, too. According to him polymer banknotes have all the advantages and as official statements said, they cannot melt down under the described conditions.

You can read an article about the problems with the new polymer banknotes here.

The Bank of Canada offers much material on the new banknotes like texts, images, and video clips.

About Mr Carney’s plans reported The Independent.