Polymer banknotes are banknotes made from a polymer such as biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP). Such notes incorporate many security features not available to paper banknotes, including the use of metameric inks; they also last significantly longer than paper notes, resulting in a decrease in environmental impact and a reduction of production and replacement costs. Modern polymer banknotes were first developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), CSIRO and The University of Melbourne.
They were first issued as currency in Australia in 1988 (coinciding with that country's bicentennial year). In 1996 Australia switched completely to polymer banknotes .
Countries that have since switched completely to polymer banknotes include Brunei, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Vietnam, Fiji, Mauritius (printed by De La Rue), Canada and Israel. Kuwait is the latest country to introduce polymer currency notes into circulation.