Polymer’s Prized Properties: Why Guardian banknotes lead the way
1 October 2019
The past year has been another award-winning period for polymer banknotes.
The Bank of Canada’s new vertical $10 note and commemorative $10 note, both on Guardian polymer, received the highest accolades in the International Association of Currency Affairs’ 2019 Excellence in Currency Awards. Other polymer finalists in the program included Papua New Guinea’s commemorative K100 and Uruguay’s commemorative $U50.
In addition, the Canadian vertical $10 also received the International Bank Note Society’s Banknote of the Year Award in 2018.
Over the years, polymer has consistently been recognised in prestigious award programs as both winners and finalists, including banknotes from New Zealand, Australia, Poland, Kuwait, Scotland and Trinidad and Tobago.
Why have banknotes on polymer substrate received this industry-wide recognition?
Our Guardian polymer banknotes lead the way in security, cleanliness, durability and environmental friendliness. In comparison to paper or hybrid alternatives, Guardian banknotes have been proven to be:
The uniquely manufactured substrate and sophisticated security features make them difficult for counterfeiters to replicate, yet easy for the public to identify.
They are incredibly durable, increasing note life in public use and leading to long-term costs savings for central banks.
Along with increased note life, the recycling capability of Guardian polymer helps to reduce a central bank’s carbon footprint in banknote production.
They carry less bacteria and can easily be wiped clean.
While awards are a valuable acknowledgement of polymer benefits, the true test is performance in cash cycles across the world.
Across every market in which Guardian has replaced paper, counterfeiting rates have dropped dramatically when first introduced. For example, the $50 paper banknote was the most counterfeited denomination in 2005 in Mexico. Following the introduction of the Guardian polymer $50 note in 2006, counterfeits dropped by from 249.3ppm to 31.6ppm. By 2009, the $50 polymer note had become the second least counterfeited denomination, after the $20 polymer note.
Australia, Canada and New Zealand’s significant drops in counterfeit rates are also outlined below.
CCL Secure’s analysis has shown Guardian banknotes last between three- to five-times longer in the cash cycle across all regions and this ratio is not affected if the paper notes are coated or varnished.
These findings are consistent with independent studies by central banks. The Central Bank of Costa Rica has claimed its polymer notes last at least three times longer than the cotton paper notes, while the Bank of England has found around four-times greater note life for lower denominations, four- to five-times for middle denominations and six-times for higher denominations.
The environmental benefits of polymer banknotes are also now being reported more commonly.
The Carbon Trust recently certified the new Guardian £5 and £10 notes issued by the Bank of England as having a lower carbon footprint across their full life cycle of 16% and 8% respectively than the previous paper notes. In addition, the majority of our central bank customers and high security printers are actively recycling their unfit Guardian banknotes.
In terms of cleanliness, the comprehensive study Dirty Money: An Investigation into the Hygiene Status of Some of the World’s Currencies as Obtained from Food Outlets, analysed banknotes in 10 different countries and revealed Guardian banknotes carry on average 75% less bacteria as compared to cotton-paper banknotes.
Guardian’s performance is backed by 30 years of use around the world, in every continent besides Antarctica, and continues to perform in demanding cash cycles.