The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has leaked a number of designs, which are under consideration, of the new plastic banknotes in the denominations of EGP 10 and EGP 20.
The move came a few days after the announcement made by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi that the new plastic banknotes will be circulated in the domestic market as of early November.
Tendency to adopt plastic banknotes dates back to February 2019, when CBE announced that it intends to produce some denominations of the Egyptian banknotes in plastic by 2020 from its new banknotes printing house located in the New Administrative Capital.
However, the step was delayed due to the onset of the pandemic.
In a statement released on Monday, CBE clarified that the plastic banknotes will be made of polymer with a watermark for safety circulation, adding that the leaked designs are not final.
CBE said it coordinates with the Center for Secured and Smart Documents for the sake of providing advanced raw materials in accordance with the latest international standards for the plastic polymer-made banknotes.
As countries worldwide, including Egypt, are committed to meeting the Paris Agreement requirements on the climate change, shifting to plastic currencies tends to be a trend globally.
“For countries concerned about the environmental impact of their currency, a switch to polymer notes makes sense,” according to a report issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on plastic currencies.
Modern polymer banknotes were first produced by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and The University of Melbourne.
They were issued, for the first time, and circulated as official currency in Australia in 1988.
By 1996, the Australian dollar was shifted to polymer banknotes, followed by New Zealand and Romania.
Since 2016, Bank of England has started to produce its polymer banknote, rolling out the £5. It issued the £10 in 2017, followed by the release of the £20 in 2020.
According to the Bank of England, plastic is more durable and stronger than paper, and plastic banknotes could last five years compared to the paper banknotes that last for only two years.
Kusters Engineering, a Dutch family-owned company that provides smart, innovative and secure solutions for optimal reuse of valuable materials for green transformation, counts the polymer currencies’ pros, as they are waterproof, dirt proof, recyclable, has a long lifetime, and are provided with high-tech security features.