Australians always act so superior about our shiny plastic money, but perhaps we should be looking towards the EU for a more sustainable, eco-friendly option. While euro banknotes might look like flimsy paper money, it turns out they're actually made from pure cotton fibres, giving them a bit of an advantage over traditional paper money.
The 'paper' that goes into making a euro banknote is actually made from a type of cotton fibre called comber noils. These short, silky fibres are too fine to be of any use to the textile industry, but can easily be pressed into paper. The quality of the fibres is also what gives a euro its distinctive feel.
While you can still tear a euro note fairly easily if you try, the cotton fibres give notes a little more durability than a regular paper note. Most notably they'll actually stand up to accidentally going through the washing machine - you just have to stretch it out to dry. Hell, you could probably even iron them if you wanted to.
As we look to reduce the amount of plastic waste we're producing across the world, this cotton by-product material makes a lot of sense for something that's made in such huge volumes like banknotes. Some producers of euros take this even further - the De Nederlandsche Bank of the Netherlands, for example, sources 70 per cent of its cotton from sustainable sources, while it looks to soon increase that number to 100 per cent.
Hey, maybe it's an idea for when Australia gets bored of its shiny new notes.
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