Looks like Canada’s spiffy new plastic bills might not be able to take the heat. Literally.
According to news reports from the Toronto Star and the National Post, the country’s new polymer $50 and $100 bills are melting. Several people have said that the new bills are fusing together when placed next to a heat source – like a toaster oven.
The Toronto Star confirmed that one Halifax man put his wallet down on the oven while toasting a bagel and then noticed the three $100 bills had crumpled to size of a “Coke bottle.”
Canada is not the first country to introduce plastic money: other countries like Australia and New Zealand have long used similar materials. The Canadian $100 plastic bill was introduced last November and the $50 bill made its own introduction early this year, after presumed de rigeur testing. According to the National Post:
…The banknotes were boiled, frozen and run through washing machines. A tumbling mechanism filled with coffee grinds, marbles, bolts and synthetic sweat was meant to simulate the effect of being left in a pocket.
The Bank of Canada, meanwhile, is nonplussed about the reports. In an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times, the bank stated “[We have] encountered no evidence that polymer bank notes are being affected by heat as has been suggested in recent news reports. Bank notes printed on polymer material have been used in many countries for years, most of which have climates far hotter than Canada.” The bills are built to withstand temperatures up to 140° C.
(A Toronto Star reporter reportedly put four plastic bills in a laundromat dryer for 40 minutes to test whether the bills would melt. They came out unscathed.)
On the other hand, Mona Billard reported having to exchange eight plastic bills back in January after her son put in the money in a tin can and left it near a baseboard heater. She had to return them to the bank to exchange the melted bills.
“The leather couch is up against the baseboard heater, it doesn’t melt,” she explained to the Post. “The kids’ toys are back there, they don’t melt.”