If you would rather watch then read the information there are a couple of Youtube Videos that are very imfortmative on the topic:
You have probably heard through the grapevine by now that pennies are expensive to make and that we actually spend more producing them then they are actually worth and it is terrible that there is not more outrage about such a needless spending of tax dollar money. Not only that, they are polluting the world, zinc has a lot of byproducts that are harmful (but I will get more into that later on in this).
In 2010 'Penny and Nickel Coints were produced at a loss of $42.6 million' according to US Mint Annual report which can be found here http://www.usmint.gov/downloads/about/annual_report/2010AnnualReport.pdf
According to the report 1 Penny cost 1.7 Pennies to make last year with the changes they made to make it lighter, while the Nickel cost a overwhelmingly 9 cents to make.
However there is not much of a movement to try to get pennies out of our system even though other countries have seen the advantages of not having pennies (Australia, and New Zealand being two of them). So what is taking so long for American's to change? Well we hate change.
The Legal Tender Modernization Act (which would force the rounding off of all cash transactions to the nearest 10 cents, making the penny and nickel coin useless for everyday transactions) can be found here for more information on the terms of that bill please visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c107:H.R.2528:
The following is a video that I found enlightening on the subject as well if you are not yet convinced that we need to do away with pennies. A Vblogbrother youtube sensation... http://youtu.be/77C47XYm_3c or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4g7z1XaUNA
This petition is for pennies being out of production, when needed in cash transaction the transactions are rounded, and nothing changes for ditigal transfers. The bill is included in the petition letter if you have any more questions do not hesitate to ask.
The penny according to the National Association of Convenience Stores has calculated that pennies cost people 2 to 3 seconds more per sale on average.
It is also hurtful to the enviroment "making pennies wastes natural resources and is toxic to people and the environment – Pennies are 3 percent copper, and 97 percent zinc and are primarily made from virgin ore. Making pennies from zinc and copper means mining for those materials." One of the main contributors is Red Dog Mine, which is the largest zinc mine in the U.S and puts off a lot of pollution and is the top TRI producer in the United States (see first link for reference) because not only do they not follow regulations but they also put out "large quantities of heavy-metal and lead rich mining tailings. The process of refining both metals can release sulfur dioxide (SO2), lead and zinc into the environment" according to a conversation with Mike's Bikes (a company refusing to use pennies in the California area) to read more about that conversation it can be found at http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/06/pennies-make-sense-all/ and the facts about the current description of the mine by the EPA can be found here at http://www.epa.gov/region10/pdf/permits/npdes/ak/ak0038652-fs-1208.pdf or http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/Issues/MetalsMining/RedDogMine.html or http://www.epa.gov/TRI/tridata/tri08/national_analysis/pdr/2008%20TRI%20Workbook%20Section%20C.pdf or http://www.resourceinvestor.com/News/2010/2/Pages/Black-cloud-over-worlds-largest-zinc-mine.aspx or http://northern.org/news/epa-rescinds-key-red-dog-mine-permit-limits
If you want to read more about countries that have alread done this the following website lists them, http://www.calgaryjournalonline.ca/news/34-news/1260-the-end-is-near-for-the-penny
The major opposition to retiring the Penny is Americans for Common Cents, the pro-penny lobbying group funded by the zinc industry and penny distributors
http://www.retirethepenny.org/ is a site with more information as well on taking the penny out of the system.
Thank you for your time!