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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Thailand introduces first plastic banknote

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Thailand’s 20 baht plastic banknote is set to eventually replace the traditional paper banknote in circulation

Thailand’s new 20-baht plastic banknotes have become legal tender since March 24. The new technology notes will come into circulation and will be available at financial institutions and commercial banks in the kingdom, the Thai Public Broadcasting Service reported.

Old paper banknotes will gradually be replaced by new wear-and-tear banknotes made of polymer materials.

Plastic or polymer money is more expensive to make but has a several times longer lifespan. The advantage of the new material over traditional paper is that the banknotes remain cleaner because it prevents the absorption of moisture, sweat and dirt. Plastic money is easier to produce, the process of recycling and reusing worn-out banknotes is also much simpler.

Plastic banknotes are much stronger and more durable than paper banknotes, so withdrawal from circulation and replacement of worn and damaged banknotes must be done much less frequently, which makes plastic money more environmentally friendly.

Plastic banknotes like the new 20-baht note are already widely used around the world, including in neighbouring Malaysia and nearby Singapore. Vietnam also uses polymer banknotes, as do Russia, Australia, Britain and many other countries.

The design of the new lowest denomination note of 20 baht will not differ much from the paper notes in circulation. The plastic banknote will have a small transparent window, as well as an embossed number 20 for added anti-counterfeiting protection.

The old 20-baht paper notes will continue to be in circulation and will remain legal tender in Thailand until they are eventually fully replaced by the new polymer versions.

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