Media Releases
Published Date: 11 January 2013

Going Green: “Good-as-New” $2 Notes for “Hong Bao”

Singapore, 10 January 2013….The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today that it will issue “good-as-new” $2 notes, along with brand new ones, for the coming Lunar New Year. The “good-as-new” $2 notes are clean and crisp notes which are retrieved immediately after the Lunar New Year.

2   MAS prints and issues 100 million $2 polymer notes to the banks each Lunar New Year, in response to the tradition of giving brand new notes as “hong bao”. However, only about half of the new $2 notes issued are required to meet normal circulation demand. The accumulation of excess $2 polymer notes and their destruction before the end of their lifespan is a waste of precious resources and is not environmentally friendly. MAS estimates that printing the excess 50 million $2 notes uses more than 200,000 kWh of electricity, equivalent to powering up one HDB block for six months, and consumes 10 tonnes of ink.

3   MAS is therefore embarking on an initiative this Lunar New Year to encourage the public to use “good-as-new” $2 notes for “hong bao”. Mrs Foo-Yap Siew Hong, Assistant Managing Director, MAS, said, “While MAS will continue issuing brand new $2 notes, we hope the public will participate in the initiative. We can celebrate Lunar New Year with the giving of ‘hong bao’ and do our bit in reducing wastage and preserving the environment. So let’s go green this Lunar New Year, and celebrate with good-as-new $2 notes. ‘钞票如新普天乐, 环保为重遍地春!’”

4   This Go Green initiative is supported by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), Environmental Challenge Organisation (Singapore) (ECO Singapore) and Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI).

5   “ABS supports this initiative. Our member banks will promote the use of the ‘good-as-new’ notes at their branches, ATMs and websites. They will also deploy more service staff to promote these notes at the branches and encourage their own staff to use ‘good-as-new’ $2 notes”, said Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon, ABS Director.

6   Mr Wilson Ang, President of ECO Singapore, said, “We hope everyone who celebrates Lunar New Year in Singapore will lend their support to this national effort on environmental sustainability and resource conservation. Our collective change of habit this Lunar New Year, moving away from using new notes for ‘hong bao’, will help reduce our impact on the environment and benefit our future generations.”

7   “The spirit of celebrating Lunar New Year is sharing and giving. 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 Mr Teo Siong Seng, SCCCI President.

8   MAS will make available both the brand new and “good-as-new” $2 notes at all retail banks in Singapore from 21 January 2013.