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Canada to switch to plastic bank notes next year

Canada’s paper money is about to go plastic.


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March 15, 2010 by Canadian Plastics

Canada’s paper money is about to go plastic.

As part of a plan to modernize the currency and crack down on counterfeiting, Canadians will be using newly designed money printed on polymer instead of cotton-based paper bills by next year, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced on March 11 while presenting the Harper government’s 2010 budget.

The Bank of Canada plans to start printing the new bills within the next 18 months.

“These new notes will have security features and they will be easy to authenticate,” said Bank of Canada spokesperson Julie Girard. “People will know if it’s genuine and the new bank notes will be hard to counterfeit. All of this will help us stay ahead of counterfeiters.”

The new plastic bills will also be recyclable, and more resistant to tearing, Girard said, allowing the government to print fewer notes, since bills made of polymer can last up to two to three times longer than paper bills.

Polymer-based bank notes have already been adopted in other countries such as Australia, and an Australian company will provide the material for Canada, The notes will be printed here in Canada, Girard said.

Other countries that have adopted polymer banknotes include New Zealand, Vietnam and Romania.