Let’s face it, Canadians, these new polymer bills are a nuisance to us. (Mainly those who work in the retail sector, actually, such as myself. (Actually, this money is most annoying to people like myself who work directly with cash eight hours a day.))
I will first look at the pros of our new plastic bills, and then will examine the cons. I think that is fair as nothing in life is black and white, except for black and white.
Durability is the first thing that comes to mind. These new bills can be exchanged without degrading quickly. If you handled an old five dollar bill, you will have probably have noticed how it is tattered, ripped, frail, and usually split down the middle. Polymer bills, being made of plastic, cannot tear as easily as the paper bills (they aren’t actually made of paper). This is good because hundreds of five dollar bills won’t be murdered by people who aggressively manhandle them (I don’t; Unless, of course, I’m feeling aggressive).
Security is the most important feature of these new polymer bills. They have a plastic window, which at certain angles you can see the face printed on the bill from both sides. Canada is known for having a high counterfeit ratio to legal bills, so in a way I do praise Canada for investing in bills that would be difficult to counterfeit.
I am unaware of the rest of the worlds efforts in creating new tender, but I will say that I am proud to see Canada being innovative.
The colour of these new bills is faded. People scoffed at Canadian bills for being Monopoly money, but we Canadians could pride ourselves on the vibrant colours of our currency. Bue, Purple, Green, Red and Yellow; it was like a rainbow. These new polymer bills have faded colours. The yellow is like puke. The red is like a bruise on the skin. Gross!
Here is one con that no one but me, who is known for taking a bundle of new ten dollar bills and sniffing them every chance I got, would think of. Smell. The old bills smell like books fresh off the press. They smell natural. They smell like a corner of an old room in an old house built in the olden days. The new bills smell like oil, and new, but not a fresh and exciting new like the new car smell.
Counting money can be fast or slow depending on the bills encountered. When counting only new bills, the counting process is sloooow. The fingers slip off the oily surface, like trying to hold onto a frog trying to get away. There are bumps on these new polymer bills; however, these bumps are inconveniently located for someone aspiring to count money fast like me.
One of the most heartbreaking qualities of our new money isn’t even a quality. The old bills had fantastic art features on non-face side, and also featured famous Canadian quotes. The old fifty dollar bill had a portrait of the Famous Five. The five dollar bill has our national sport, hockey (this time next year almost all bills will be phased out for the new polymer bills). The new fifty has a generic boat on it, no quotes. The hundred has a few sciency symbols. (Bleh.)
I am now at the end of my brutal and cynical analysis of Canada’s new polymer bills. I may be griping now, but I’m sure that in the future I will learn to love polymer bills. Perhaps they are an acquired taste like beer.