2020 Sees GUARDIAN™ Polymer Go From Strength To Strength

Despite the global challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, CCL Secure say they have seen polymer banknotes go from strength to strength around the world. “As well as seeing cash usage actually increase in many markets, we’ve helped to launch new notes that use our Guardian substrate in 10 nations,” says Dr. Tim Berridge, the company’s Director of R&D, Marketing and Design.

In Africa, CCL Secure worked closely with Bank of Namibia to design the country’s first polymer banknote, celebrating 3 decades of independence and the smooth transition of power between three presidents during that time. Also in Africa, Angola issued 1000 and 2000 Kwanza notes on GUARDIAN.

The Middle East saw the Saudi Central Bank launch a new 5 Riyal note, the Kingdom’s first banknote on polymer. Meanwhile, in Lebanon, Banque du Liban 100,000 Livres GUARDIAN banknote -commemorating the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the country – featured two world firsts for security.

The Lebanese note is remarkable for being the first in the world to include two of CCL Secure’s newest security features: CINEMATM and VIVID™ COLOUR. The revolutionary Cinema feature adds three-dimensional and movement effects integrated directly into the polymer substrate while Vivid transforms a plain white image into full colour when seen under UV light.

Other notable GUARDIAN banknote launches during the year included a new 5 córdoba banknote issued by Banco Central de Nicaragua, marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the central bank. The Banco Central de Costa Rica (BCCR) issued its new 20,000 colones banknote in November, shortly followed by 2000 and 5000 colones notes.

Banco de Mexico launched a new 100 peso banknote using GUARDIAN polymer, the latest in a long line of polymer banknotes issued by the Mexican central bank. The first – also a 20 peso note – was unveiled in September 2002, with a redesigned note issued 5 years later. The new series will also feature 20 peso and 50 peso notes on polymer.

2020 started with the news that CCL had secured 75% of the supply of polymer substrate for the Bank of England polymer £20, which came into circulation in February. GUARDIAN has been used for all the Bank of England polymer notes since the introduction of the £5 in 2016.  CCL Secure was the exclusive supplier for the launch volumes of the £5 and £10 as well as a having a 55% share of the new £50 note, due to be launched later in 2021. Both the £5 and £10 feature CCL Secure’s G-Switch™ colour shifting security feature and all £5 and £10 banknotes currently in circulation are printed on Guardian.

As well as helping to launch new polymer banknotes, CCL expanded polymer recycling capacity in 2020 by opening a purpose-built, specialised polymer recycling facility in Zacapu, Mexico. The centre is owned by Innovia, part of CCL Industries.  The Zacapu plant transforms old polymer banknotes into polypropylene pellets that will find their way into a wide range of new plastic products, including garden furniture and building materials.

Throughout the pandemic, CCL Secure has maintained continuous operations across all three of its production locations in Australia, Mexico and England.  “Having access to 5 production lines enabled CCL Secure to respond quickly to changing demands and meet the needs of all our customers in full and on time,” says Dr. Berridge. “We’re looking forward to 2021 providing central banks with even more opportunities to benefit from our GUARDIAN and soon-to-be-launched new polymer substrate options.”

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