Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has just release a press statement about "Going Green" with Recycled Fit Banknotes for Hari Raya Aidilfitri. They're looking to reduce the production of new RM1 and RM5 banknotes for festive seasons in phases starting this Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Do you know that BNM issues about 750 million pieces of new RM1 and RM5 banknotes to fulfill demand during festive occasions?
Only 30% of the banknotes are used for normal payment transactions. 70% of the banknotes are returned as deposits soon after the festive season resulting in the accumulation of excess RM1 and RM5 banknotes at Bank Negara Malaysia. Its production consumes more than 80 tons of ink and 2 million kWh of electricity which is enough to power 7,500 Malaysian homes for a month.
The "Going Green" initiative is an effort in collaboration with Kementerian Tenaga, Teknologi Hijau dan Air (KeTTHA), the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM), the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM), Malaysian Environmental NGOs (MENGO) and Yayasan Anak Warisan Alam (YAWA) to promote sustainability of our resources and conservation of the environment.
Malaysia Polymer banknotes was introduced in 2004 for the RM5 to enhance banknote durability and to reduce the high costs and demands on the resources involved in currency production. The use of polymer substrate was widened to include the RM1 in 2012 when the RM5 polymer banknote yielded a positive track record. Polymer banknotes last 2 to 3 times longer than cotton-paper banknotes. Printed on highly durable substrate, the RM1 and RM5 banknotes can remain in circulation longer with better ability to retain their security and aesthetic qualities throughout their useable life. You can read more about Polymer banknotes in this post; History of Polymer Money.
BNM will promote Going Green Using Recycled Fit Polymer Notes for The Festive Season. BNM will print 70 per cent of new RM1 banknotes and recycle 30 per cent, while for the RM5 banknote, 60 per cent will be recycled and the rest being new. Given that only high quality banknotes will be recycled, members of the public are therefore encouraged to use these fit banknotes for ‘duit raya’.
For this festive season, the public is assured that there will be sufficient banknotes of all denominations. ABM and AIBIM will join this promotion to facilitate the recycling of fit banknotes by issuing them through bank branches and ATM machines. Members of the public are encouraged to support this national effort of “Going Green” and celebrate the month of Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri with the spirit of reducing wastage by supporting the use of recycled banknotes.
In my opinion, BNM has already implemented these idea since the last 2 years. You will only get Recycled Fit banknotes if you change your banknotes last minute.
Every year, quarter of the new banknotes are in collector hands? If that 30% will be in collectors hand, look like 2013 only half of the new banknotes will go to the normal consumer.