SINGAPORE: Demand for new S$2 banknotes during festive periods has gone down by about 20 per cent each year since a "good-as-new" initiative was launched in 2013, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Wednesday (Dec 29).
MAS issues about 100 million new notes annually to meet Chinese New Year and other festive periods, with the S$2 bills accounting for the bulk of the demand, said MAS in response to queries from CNA.
"Other than the S$2 denomination, there is no accumulation of excess notes as the new notes of other denominations issued are recycled to meet normal circulation demand," it said.
Its "good-as-new" S$2 note initiative - which encourages the public to choose used notes that are clean and crisp instead of newly printed ones - has helped to reduce the demand for new S$2 bills during festive periods by about 20 per cent each year, said the authority.
In a media release on Tuesday, the central bank had said that a large proportion of new notes issued for festive gifting, particularly the S$2 bills, are returned after Chinese New Year and subsequently destroyed as it “far exceeds normal circulation demand”.
"The carbon emissions from the production, transportation, and destruction of such new notes each year is highly wasteful, unnecessary, and impacts the environment negatively," it said.
Reusing notes for the Chinese New Year "will support the environment and reduce queues at bank branches" added MAS.
The public can obtain their "good-as-new" banknotes at POSB/DBS bank branches from Jan 11, 2022, said DBS in a media release on Tuesday.
POSB/DBS customers have to make a reservation before collecting the notes at bank branches, in line with COVID-19 safe management measures, said DBS.
Alternatively, customers can get their notes at 64 selected POSB/DBS ATMs across 45 locations islandwide from Jan 11.
UOB customers can also register their interest online for 'good-as-new' banknotes.
"As we move towards a more resource-efficient and sustainable Singapore, we hope that more Singaporeans will join us in adopting sustainable alternatives such as re-using existing notes and e-hongbaos," said MAS.