CAIRO – 6 March 2020: Gamal Negm, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Egypt said the country will start issuing plastic currency, starting with the LE 10 ($0.64) notes, as banknotes will be printed in the New Administrative Capital's printing facilities.
In an interview with Egypt Today, Negm said the new plastic currency lasts longer than paper notes, adding that the LE 10 plastic notes are expected to be issued starting from the end of this year.
This comes a year after the CBE announced preparations to produce some categories of the Egyptian currency in the plastic form by 2020 from its press at the new capital, days after Bank of England revealed issuing its new plastic £50 note.
Plastic currencies are produced from polymer, and was first used as currency-making material in Australia in 1988. In 1968, Australia began researching for a scientific solution to combat forgeries of the new decimal currency after it issued its $10 notes in 1966. The state spent 10 years in trials to overcome technical problems. In 1996, Securency International was formed as a joint venture between the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and Innovia Films to market the technology.
“By 1998, all Australian banknotes were is- sued in plastic and by 2009 Securency was exporting to 25 countries, with more than 3 billion polymer notes in circulation,” notes CSIROpedia.
The Bank of England claims polymer is cleaner and more durable than other currency-comprising materials, and it allows the addition of extra security features. Polymer reportedly about 2.5 times longer than paper notes, although they take longer to biodegrade.
The environmental impact of the lifecycle of banknotes worth €3 billion produced in 2003 is equivalent to the environmental impact of driving a car around the world in 9,235 times, according to a study conducted by the Bank of Canada in 2016.
The study revealed that at the end of the lifecycle of paper money, it is usually torn and transported to the landfill. The polymer sheets extracted from the circulation are chopped into granules and used to manufacture every- day plastics, such as garden furniture.