After a few years of deliberation, the Royal Canadian Mint has finally decided to pull the penny from circulation.
Why, you ask? Because besides being annoying and nearly valueless, pennies are kind of a drain on the economy and the environment.
For starters, making a penny (a process outlined by the diagram below from the Washington Post) costs more than one penny. “The cost to produce a new penny exceeds its face value by about 0.6 cents, so the estimated cost to the Government of supplying pennies to the economy is about $11 million per year,” says Canada. And pennies are expensive for consumers too. “A private sector study estimated that the economic costs of maintaining the penny, including direct production costs and indirect costs to financial institutions, retailers and consumers, amounted to $150 million in 2006.”
That mining-minting-transporting-distributing-storing process is also a drain on the environment. Not only will post-penny Canada need to use less metal, but it will use less energy to produce, transport, handle and store the coin. They’ll also collect the old ones and melt them down to use in other products.
So good job Canada! America should totally follow your lead. And for the rest of us, it’s time to take that jar of pennies that you were saving for a vacation fund and cash them in for some peanut M&M’s.
But make sure to save a few a couple for your loafers. “Nickel loafer” doesn’t sound nearly as dapper.