The use of one and two cent coins will be significantly lowered following a decision by the Central Bank of Ireland. Under the new system, change at shops and businesses across the country will be “rounded off” to the nearest five cent.
This means that if your change amount comes to €5.02, you will actually receive just €5.00. However, if the amount is €5.03, you will be given €5.05.
The “change in change” comes after a successful trial was carried out in Wexford in 2013. Customers are still entitled to ask for exact change. However, because of the small value of one and two cent coins, it’s thought that most people would rather be without them.
The move is also being made to save money. Strangely enough, it costs more to make the one and two cent coins than they are actually worth!
Since adopting the Euro in 2002, Ireland has produced 2.5 billion copper coins- that's 1,500 for every household in the country. Have you ever noticed a jar of these coins lying around your house?
Ireland is the latest EU country to phase out small copper change. Due to the increasing amount of electronic transactions, some experts believe we are ultimately heading towards a “cashless” society.