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Polymer Over Paper

America should make the switch to polymer banknotes

An Australian 20 dollar bill is quite colourful, as shown here.

Photo by Colin Fullinfaw

An Australian 20 dollar bill is quite colourful, as shown here.

Colin Fullinfaw, Copy Editor

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The American dollar bill needs a revival, but this time with style. It’s time to make the switch to polymer banknotes. For far too long, Americans have been burdened by crumpled, torn bills that have no colour and are counterfeited often. Polymer bills are perennially better than their cotton and linen counterparts.

Everyone knows the helpless feeling of having a torn dollar bill because it can’t be used anymore. With polymer banknotes, however, the user can rest assured knowing that it will never tear even if they try. Because of their complex molecular composition, polymer notes resist tearing and are also waterproof. Polymer bills can be submerged in any volume of water and quickly cleaned up. They are so durable that they can even go through the washing machine unscathed.

The threat of fake bills pervades the minds of many when realizing there are countless ways to counterfeit a paper banknote. According to the United States Treasury, an estimated 60 million dollars in counterfeit U.S. currency was in circulation in 2001. But with polymer notes, Americans won’t have to worry about counterfeit bills coming their way. It is highly unlikely for someone to accurately counterfeit polymer banknotes because of the complex materials it is composed of and the additional security features that they are ingrained with. Transparent windows with symbols of the country on it are the most recognizable feature of the newest polymer banknote series. Previous banknote series have also had a little transparent mark in the corner of the bill.

When it comes to color variety, America’s paper currency is exceptionally bland. Whether it’s a one dollar bill or a 20, American banknotes basically all have the same color scheme: green, maybe a hint of gold, possibly some reddish hues. When dealing with polymer banknotes, however, the opportunities are as many as there are colors. Every value has a different color. For example, red for a one dollar bill, green for a five dollar bill, purple for a 10 dollar bill, and so on and so forth. Why not spruce it up with some flare?

America desperately needs to get a grip on its currency game, which is why we should switch to polymer banknotes. Polymer notes are easier to handle, with their smooth texture and inviting colour schemes. Counterfeiters will have a tough time decoding them with their added security features. These characteristics of polymer bills are pretty convincing, and more countries will continue to adopt the new, modern banknotes. Hopefully, America will follow suit.

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Colin Fullinfaw - Copy Editor

Colin became a member of The Flightline in August of 2017. He is a senior this year and is involved in Cross Country. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his dog, Harley. You can email him at [email protected]

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