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'Good-as-new' $2 hong bao notes to be issued

MAS is encouraging the public to use the 'good-as-new' notes as part of their Go Green initiative.
January 10, 2013
By: Karen Lim
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'Good-as-new' $2 hong bao notes to be issued

SINGAPORE: Clean and crisp $2 notes will be issued along with brand new ones for the coming Lunar New Year, announced the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today.

These notes are retrieved immediately after the Lunar New Year and are 'as good as new', said MAS. The $2 notes as well as brand new ones will be available at all retail banks in Singapore from Jan 21.

MAS is encouraging the public to use the 'good-as-new' notes as part of their Go Green initiative. Each year, 100 million $2 polymer notes are printed and issued to banks in response to the tradition of giving brand new notes in red packets, or 'hong bao'. However, only half of the new $2 notes issued are required to meet normal circulation demand.

MAS said the accumulation of excess $2 polymer notes and their destruction before the end of their lifespan is a waste of resources and is not environmentally friendly. Printing the excess 50 million $2 notes uses more than 200,000 kWh of electricity, equivalent to powering one HDB block for six months, and consumes 10 tonnes of ink.

"While it is customary that we give 'hong bao' to children and loved ones, we could also do our part to protect the environment by using 'good-as-new' $2 notes", said president of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) Teo Siong Seng.

UOB is also participating in this green initiative. In order for the notes to remain in good condition, the bank has shaped their red packets so that customers need not fold their notes and are using a non-adhesive seal to allow environmentally-conscious customers to recycle the packets.

klim@sph.com.sg

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