Canada’s new plastic $50, $100 bills melting in the heat: reports

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Daily Brew

One of my momma's favourite sayings was 'don't burn your money.'

While it was — obviously — a figurative phrase, it seems I'll have to start using the phrase with my kids in a more literal sense. Several reports are surfacing about Canada's new polymer banknotes melting in the heat.

Brittney Halldorson, a teller at the Interior Savings Credit Union in Kelowna, B.C., said the new $50 and $100 bills are supposed to withstand boiling water but she has seen cases where several of the bills melted.

"We have seen it a few times now where there have been either three to four, or five to ten [bills] all melted together," she told Metro News.

In Cambridge, Ont., Mona Billard returned eight plastic bills in January, after her son stashed his $800 Christmas bonus in a tin can and hid it near a baseboard heater. When he retrieved them the next day to make a deposit, the $100 banknotes had shriveled and melted. Billard exchanged clean bills for the shrunken, unusable ones.

"The leather couch is up against the baseboard heater, it doesn't melt," she told the National Post.

"The kids' toys are back there, they don't melt."

And adding some more fuel to the er... fire, the Toronto Star said Thursday that it had confirmed a report of a Halifax man who put his wallet on a toaster oven only to find later that three $100 bills had formed into the shape of a Coke bottle. While putting your wallet on a toaster oven probably isn't the smartest move, it clearly shows a trend — doesn't it?

Not according to the Bank of Canada.

In an email exchange with the National Post, spokesperson Julie Girard maintains the new currency can survive temperatures of up to 140 degrees C.

"The Bank has encountered no evidence that polymer bank notes are being affected by heat as has been suggested in recent news reports," she wrote.

Regardless, this story is likely just heating up. The Bank's new polymer $20 note is set for release this November and the remaining $10 and $5 denominations will be out before the end of 2013.

Are the 'melting banknotes'  a new urban legend or is there really something to this?

Until we find out for sure,  you might want to tell your kids to store their cash in a cool, dry place.