EGYPT – The Central Bank of Egypt has announced plans to shift the form of its currency from paper notes to plastic notes, starting with the LE 10 ($0.64) notes.

Deputy Governor of CBE, Mr. Gamal Negm told Egypt Today that the shift to plastic was initiated because plastic currency lasts longer than paper notes.

The deputy governor further noted that the bank will start the process of transition with the LE 10 plastic notes which will be printed in the New Administrative Capital’s printing facilities.

The LE 10 plastic notes, according to Negm are expected to be issued starting from the end of this year.

According to Egypt Daily, CBE had announced preparations to produce some categories of the Egyptian currency in the plastic form by 2020 from its press at the new capital, a year ago.

CDE’s move followed a similar announcement by the Bank of England which had revealed plans of issuing its new £50 currency denomination in plastic notes.

Plastic currencies are produced from synthetic polymer such as biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) and were 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.

Such notes incorporate many security features not available in paper banknotes, including the use of metameric inks.

 Polymer banknotes last significantly longer than paper notes, causing a decrease in environmental impact and a reduced cost of production and replacement.

Polymer reportedly lasts about 2.5 times longer than paper notes, although they take longer to biodegrade.

According to a study conducted by the Bank of Canada in 2016, 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 9,235 times.

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 however, chopped into granules and used to manufacture every- day plastics, such as garden furniture thus making them more environmental friendly when compared to paper.