Finance ministry calls on shoppers to get unused coins back into circulation

The government wants to get millions of unused coins back into circulation and is calling on people to pay with them in shops. The Federal Public Service Finance launched a social media campaign on Monday called #SpendYourChange.

There are more than 4.2 billion coins in Belgium, worth more than 1.5 billion euros. However, shops often struggle to have enough change for cash-paying customers, because many coins are left unused at home. Based on a study in the Netherlands, more than 200 million coins are thought to be unused in Belgium. 

The FPS Finance points out that this comes at a cost, because new coins have to be minted to ensure there are enough in circulation. “By putting only 2 per cent of unused coins back into circulation, you can save more than 5 million euros in production costs per year,” it says. There is also an environmental cost: producing and transporting coins generates a lot of carbon dioxide emissions.

Coins can also be exchanged free of charge at the National Bank of Belgium.



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