What Are Some Types of Plastic Money?

Some types of plastic money include the Canadian dollar, the Romanian leu and the Papua New Guinean kino. These banknotes are made of a polymer that allows for greater security against counterfeiting by creating intricate designs that are difficult to imitate. The first known testing of polymer banknotes occurred during the 1980s, when Canada was developing and evaluating them to replace its previous currency.

As of 2014, polymer banknotes are in full use by Australia, Bermuda, Brunei, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Romania and Vietnam as well as more than a dozen other countries in a limited capacity. Some other countries have released commemorative banknotes that are not used in normal circulation.

Polymer banknotes possess a large number of security features, including windows and the possibility to allow light to shine through them to reveal further security details. The ability to counterfeit these notes is hindered by the complexity of the notes, resulting in notable drops in counterfeiting in those countries that employ them.

The plastic used to create these notes is called "Guardian polymer," serving the specific purpose of use in currency. This polymer allows for shadow images in the form of watermarks, embedded security threads and complex background patterns.