Canadian Plastics

Are Canada’s new polymer bills wilting under the heat?

As the summer temperatures soar, news outlets are reporting that some of Canada’s new plastic money can’t stand the heat.

July 16, 2012   Canadian Plastics

As the summer temperatures soar, news outlets are reporting that some of Canada’s new plastic money can’t stand the heat.

There have been reports in local and national Canadian news outlets of the new $50 and $100 polymer bills melting. A credit union teller in Kelowna, B.C., told a local radio station last month that she had seen melted polymer bills stuck together after being left in a car during a heat wave. A Cambridge, Ont., woman says she received a $800 reimbursement cheque from the central bank for melted bills. And a Halifax, N.S. man claims to have put his wallet on a toaster oven only to find later that three $100 bills had been deformed from the heat.

Responding to these reports, the Bank of Canada said it has encountered “no evidence that polymer bank notes are being affected by heat.” “Canadian banknotes have been designed to ensure they can withstand the demanding weather,” Julie Girard, a bank spokeswoman, said in an email to the National Post. The new currency can survive temperatures of up to 140 degrees C, she added.

The Bank of Canada issued 175 million $50 banknotes in March and $100 denominations in November, and plans to roll out $5, $10 and $20 versions next year. To test durability, the banknotes were boiled, frozen and run through washing machines. A tumbling mechanism filled with coffee grinds, marbles, bolts and synthetic sweat was meant to simulate the effect of being left in a pocket.

Apart from enhanced security features, the bank said the polymer bills will last two and a half times longer than the old paper and fabric bills.


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