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Should the United States Switch to Polymer?
By Bank Note Reporter
November 04, 2013

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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E-Letters: Answers to the Bank Note Reporter poll questions in recent e-newsletters, sent to BNR editor Robert R. Van Ryzin.

Should the United States switch to polymer?

Should the United States be next? Absolutely. Why shouldn’t the federal government save some money?
Is it going to happen? No, never, and this is why: The manufacturer of all U.S. paper money stock is Crane & Co., based in Boston. When Sen. Ted Kennedy was alive, he had the power to stop any attempt on having any change to our country’s bank notes. Even after Kennedy’s death, they have amazingly strong lobbyists on Capitol Hill.
It is the same reason the $1, $2 and $5 bills are still being printed, and not abolished for new coins. And it’s the zinc in the cent that won’t let it get abolished. The powerful zinc lobby entices front groups to whip up a frenzy of save-the-penny mail to Congress when coin reform is proposed.
So, will we have polymer notes in the U.S.? Will the BEP stop printing $1, $2 and $5 bills? Will the cent be abolished? Probably not in my lifetime. What a shame.
Oded Paz
Arco, Idaho

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I believe it is a mistake to switch to polymer bills. Canada has had numerous problems with this type of bill.
William Johnston

A stamp-trading partner visited me from Australia back in the early 1990s. For some reason, he gave me an Australian bank note, which was made of polymer. I thought then that that would be great for the United States, as it would make it more difficult to counterfeit the currency as well as producing something that would last much longer.

So my answer to your question about whether or not the United States should switch to polymer is a resounding “yes.” And we should also get rid of the one-cent piece and the $1 and $2 bills. But that’s another issue.
Mike Thorne

If it will save money in the long run we should do it.
Bob Leslie
Rockville, Md.

I don’t really care what our notes are made of. I don’t seem to be able to hold onto them long enough for them to wear out.
John T. Tinney
Volcano, Calif.

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