The new polymer notes look and feel quite different, they’re a good change for Canadians, Britons..
Posted on January 14, 2014

The new polymer notes look and feel quite different, they’re a good change for Canadians, Britons, and Others

In living memory, money that is carried around consisted of either metal coins, such as pennies, nickels, and quarters, or paper bank notes, first invented in China in the 7th Century according to Now a third choice, bank notes made of polymer, is being taken up by countries such as Canada and Great Britain among others. The new polymer notes look and feel quite different, they’re a good change for Canadians, Britons, and others.

Australia was the first country to switch over to polymer bank notes, back in the 1990s. The Australian government states that the polymer bank notes last four times as long as the paper variety and are also easily recyclable. Canada followed in 2011 and Great Britain has announced a switchover in late 2013.

The main advantage for printing money on polymer is that they are more durable and much harder to counterfeit, according to the UK Daily Telegraph.

The new bills withstand heat of up to 284 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as minus 103 Fahrenheit. They can’t be torn easily and survive accidental laundry washings. Children cannot write on them and they don’t tend to be wrinkled or otherwise damage easily. More durable money, which lasts longer than paper, should cut costs in the long run.

Since printing on polymer is a more difficult process and since it also harder to replicate the exact formula for the material used for the money, counterfeiting is next to impossible. MIT Technology Review notes that the see through plastic windows, in the shape of a maple leaf of course, in the Canadian polymer notes has especially made them difficult to easily reproduce. That fact has led Britain to become the next country to adopt the polymer money, starting with the five pound note in 2016.

On the deficit side, many in Canada, where polymer money has been around for the past two years, have complained that the new bills tend to stick together, slip out of pockets, and cannot be easily folded. A video from the Bank of Canada has some helpful suggestions on how to handle the polymer money. These include fanning the bills, hitting stacks of bills on a hard surface, or shuffling them like a deck of cards.

Besides Canada, Britain, and Australia, some two dozen countries have switched over to polymer bank notes. But the one country that does not seem to be eager to switch to polymer money any time soon is the United States. While the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has investigated switching to polymer, for now it will stick to paper, in use in America since the 1690s. The newest 100 dollar bill is still made of paper, but contains some 3D imagery to help discourage counterfeiting.

Testing the strength of the new Canadian 100 dollar bill
You might say almost indestructible…

Durable: They last at least 2.5 times longer than paper notes, reducing processing and replacement costs and environmental impact.


Tags: money, polymer notes, durable, almost indestructible, counterfeit impossible, lasts longer, environmental,