A flag flutters at the Swedish Riksbank headquarters in Stockholm in this file picture.
A flag flutters at the Swedish Riksbank headquarters in Stockholm in this file picture.
(170727) -- STOCKHOLM, July 27, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven (4th L) and cabinet members attend a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, on July 27, 2017. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced here on Thursday that he would reshuffle cabinet over an IT security scandal. (Xinhua/Rob Schoenbaum)
(170727) -- STOCKHOLM, July 27, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven (4th L) and cabinet members attend a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, on July 27, 2017. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced here on Thursday that he would reshuffle cabinet over an IT security scandal. (Xinhua/Rob Schoenbaum)

SWEDEN - Time is running out. About 1.6 billion kronor (R2.62bn) of coins will soon be worthless in Sweden.

A charity is now urging people to dig these out from between sofa cushions, kitchen jars or wherever they’re hidden to create Sweden’s biggest piggy bank to support projects for its neediest children.

“It’s one and a half billion that will be wasted,” Christopher Robinson, the founder of Change for Change, said.

The recall is part of the biggest changeover in Swedish history as the Riksbank modernises its coins, making them smaller, lighter and nickel free.

It also comes as Sweden goes virtually cashless in its embrace of the digital age. So pop-up charities willing to hoover up old coins could serve as a blueprint for other countries getting rid of their legal tender.

The world’s oldest central bank is asking Swedes to hand in old one, two and five krona coins to banks before the end of August. The bank estimates that 30 to 50 percent of the originally 2.6 billion kronor of outstanding coins will be returned.

The foundation hopes to collect as much as 10 million kronor. 

- BLOOMBERG