Canada's new 'funny money'
Paying with plastic took on new meaning this week when the Bank of Canada introduced its new polymer $100 bill.
The debate over paying with paper or plastic once referred to whether you were using cash or a credit card, but Canada's new plastic $100 bill -- soon to be followed by smaller denominations -- will limit your choices to plastic or plastic.
The polymer-blend bills have a number of advantages over the old paper-and-cotton ones. One key difference is that they are more difficult to counterfeit. And they won't disintegrate if you accidentally run them through the washing machine.
The plastic bills are more secure, more economical and better for the environment, according to the Bank of Canada. They also cost less to produce and last twice as long as paper money; the downside of the polymer notes is that they are more slippery and can't be folded, according to the BBC.
"These polymer notes don’t just celebrate innovation; they are themselves at the frontier of bank note technology," said Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of Canada. "They were developed by a team of physicists, chemists, engineers and other experts from the Bank of Canada and from across the bank note industry."
The brown-tinted bills carry a portrait of Robert Borden, prime minister of Canada from 1911 to 1920, on one side and have two see-through windows. The smaller window is in the shape of a maple leaf and the larger one has small numbers and another image of Borden inside it. Another counterfeiting precaution is raised ink on some parts of the bill, according to the Los Angeles Times. A Bank of Canada-made video explains these security features in detail. Post continues below.
Perhaps because the new bill is a $100, and a lot of Canadians (like Americans) usually carry smaller bills, knowledgeable reactions to the new bill are few. Responses from readers of the Globe and Mail, range from pride in Canada's always "colourful" currency to concern about whether a plastic bill could be put into a wallet.
The answer to that question is yes. Describing the bills as "smooth [and] stretchy," The Canadian Press says the currency feels like "the celluloid film you used to load into your old-fashioned camera."
"If they're more durable, it's a great thing -- but it looks fake," pedestrian Paul Lemay told The Canadian Press, when stopped on the street in Montreal. "I don't know if I would use it. I would have to be clearly informed before using it."
The new Canadian $50 bill was unveiled in June and will be issued in March 2012, with plastic $20 bills entering circulation in late 2012 and $10 and $5 bills by the end of 2013.
Several other countries use polymer currency, including Australia, which switched in the 1980s, according to Time.
More on MSN Money:
Wow Crap Cannon. There is a whole lot of redneck hostility you have bottled up there.
You may remember the date 9/11. HUNDREDS of airplanes full of people flying in the USA were not allowed to land at US airports. Where did most of them get diverted to? CANADA. Airports and people across the country welcomed those flights and people with open arms and tried to make their stayover as comfortable as possible. There were airports like Gander Newfoundland that took in hundreds of people more than the total number of hotel beds avail in town and the townspeople took them in. This happened across this great country. Our money may be funny but this nation is known worldwide for its open friendliness.
Australia and New Zealand have had plastic polymer bills in circulation for over 20 years and 90% of the original bills are still in circulation. While the U.S. is going backwards and being more energy wasteful by eliminating paper one-dollar bills and going with heavy metal coins, the rest of the world is transitioning to plastic. I read that the U.S. Treasury could save $100 million per year, but that would make too much common cents for our government.
The bills can be folded up in your wallet, they just spring back when you take them out. They can't be ripped, torn or counterfeited. They can survive washing machines, dishwashers, dry cleaned, oil and grease, make-up, resist ink, dyes and will even survive a zapping in the micro-wave. OK, Uncle Sam, what 'ya waiting for?
my concern would be the dangers slippery unfoldable money would cause strippers...
Australia has had plastic money since 1988 for 23 years! the population has adapted just fine.
No Increase in mugging able to be put in piggy banks, can fold in half
No increased size still fits in wallets.
Plastic is recyclable although the Notes are expensive to produce they last 4 times as long.
If we recalled all $100 bi;;s to be replaced with plastic... it would almost pay for the national debt.
Becaasue of all the hidden drug money and mideast corruption money and etc... hidden from the IRS and the American taxpayers..
That money would now be worthless as it could not be exchanged... at least not without a heavy laundering discount.
I am sure there is at least 2 Trillion $ of this stuff out there.
Giselle Smith - "they won't disintegrate if you accidentally run them through the washing machine"
...then comes the clothes dryer, we'll see!
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