Giving Old Polymer Notes a New Lease of Life in Industry’s 1st Recycling Centre

September 2020

A new specialised polymer recycling centre has been opened in Mexico as the latest addition to CCL Secure’s Global Recycling Programme, first launched in 2015. The site, in Zacapu in the Mexican state of Michoacán, is owned by Innovia which, along with CCL Secure, is part of CCL Industries.

The new plant will be recycling Guardian polymer banknotes at the end of their useful life, transforming old notes into polypropylene pellets, which will then find their way into a wide range of new plastic products, including garden furniture, and building materials.

According to CCL Secure, as well as delivering a much reduced risk of counterfeiting, significantly longer life in circulation, and cleaner surface that’s less likely to harbour bacteria, polymer banknotes are also more environmentally sustainable than paper alternatives.

‘The ability to recycle polymer banknotes is only one of the ways in which polymer is more environmentally friendly than paper,’ commented Dr Tim Berridge, Director of R&D, Marketing and Design with CCL Secure. ‘The production of raw materials, the environmental cost of distributing banknotes, and durability all contribute to make polymer more attractive than paper.’

His comments are borne out by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies carried out by the Bank of Canada, Bank of England and Banco de Mexico, all of which have looked at the environmental impact of both polymer and paper banknotes throughout the cash cycle, from initial production to final disposal.

CCL Secure Mexico was established in 2007 as the compoany’s second polymer production plant after Melbourne (the company now has three production sites, the third being in Wigton in the UK). Guardian has now been used in 160 denominations around the world, and the intended market for the new recycling centre, the first of its kind in the industry, is global.

In August, in a further move to reinforce the reputation for sustainability of polymer banknotes, CCL Industries became an official partner of the Global Commitment to the New Plastics Economy, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (which aims to accelerate the transition to a circular economy by designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems).

Geoffrey T Martin, President and CEO of CCL Industries Inc. said: ‘this is a milestone on our journey towards making the company a sustainability leader in our industry with responsible supply chain operations and innovative products for customers and consumers globally.’

Also in this issue:

  • Giving Old Polymer Notes a New Lease of Life
  • Public Consulted on Future of Euro Coins
  • Prediction is Very Difficult
  • Portals Reopens PM1 After £21m Investment
  • Fedrigoni to Sell Brazilian Mill
  • GardaWorld Bids for G4S
  • Prosegur Goes Green
  • Ethiopian Reforms Include New Banknotes
  • People in the News
  • News in Brief
  • All Change for US Change
  • When Will the Penny Drop?
  • Coin Demand – Up in NZ, Down in Thailand
  • The Missing £50 Billion, and No New Coins
    for 10 Years
  • CBN Acts to Improve Circulating Quality
  • Banknote Developments at the Global Level
  • Bank of England Modifies Contract for Banknotes
  • Industry Watch
  • Banknote Disinfection
  • World’s Most Visually Secure Coin
  • Better Quality in the Air for Banknote Processing
  • Nanotech’s LumaChrome for Security Threads
  • The Conversion to Polymer Banknotes Continues
  • Cash & Payment News September
  • Delay or Go Virtual?
  • Digital Complement to Cash
  • Note and Coin News

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