It's actually pretty amazing how quickly paper money goes bad. I guess it shouldn't be; I mean, it is essentially paper. But if you ever stop to think about the replacement costs of it, getting rid of the dollar bill and replacing it with a coin seems like a no-brainer. Here in Europe we have Euro coins up to €5, though the fivers aren't widely circulated. But we all€1 and €2 coins every day.
Now Britain is considering moving to plastic currency. Sounds cheesy, but probably makes sense from a durability standpoint (although I could see counterfeiting plastic notes becoming a huge problem with the surge in 3D printers). Several countries already use plastic currency, and the Australian $5 note survives over three years versus the average six-month lifespan of a British £5 note.
Between 2003 and 2011 the Bank of England received claims for bank notes destroyed through washing totalling £747,000, and £8.625m for fire or flood damage money.
It also received claims for £946,000 for notes that had been eaten or chewed.
A million pounds worth of notes that had been eaten or chewed? I know British food is terrible, but c'mon man.
Anyway, if you think vending machines are a hassle now, imagine having a plastic note jammed in the bill receiver. You ain't getting those Cheetos.
So what do you guys think? Plastic money a good idea? Or does it make better sense to go heavier into coinage? Britain already has a £5 coin, so I'm not sure what the benefit to having a £5 note is anyway.
I'd also love to hear from any Aussie monkeys. What is the plastic money like? Is it as thick as the paper money, or does it take up more space in your billfold? Genuinely curious about this.