I established this blog many year ago in part to rant about the stupid stuff I read in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, and this letter to the editor by Joseph A Belanger certainly fits the bill. He provides an irrefutable argument that Canada should scrap the $1 and $2 coins and return to paper money.
You see, metal coins aren't recyclable, but paper money is. "Really," you ask? Metal coins can't be recycled? Well, Belanger suspects that they can't, so, he concludes, it must be true. It's not like they're all made by the same organization or have dates on them to help suggest what materials were used in their manufacture. And metal is such a new substance, we still don't know how to recycle it. Will it melt down if you heat it enough? John A Belanger doesn't know, so it's safest to assume it would just crumble. You probably also can't wash them in the laundry machine.
Besides, there are practical benefits to Canadians. To make the transition back to paper $1 and $2 bills even more convenient, you'll no longer have to lug around heavy coins in your pocket. You'll just have to go to a coin-dispensing kiosk somewhere in the city to find coins to feed the parking meter (another expired technology Belanger must also want to reintroduce).
Never mind that the Royal Canadian Mint and the federal government spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on the production of circulation currency and likely have a pretty good idea of whether paper or metal money has more efficient lifecycle costs. Even if their research says that paper money lasts a fraction of the time in circulation than coins, paper money is recyclable, and recycling doesn't cost any time, energy, or money, right?