Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bank Of England To Issue Plastic Banknotes In 2016

The decision was made as a result of three-year research program that concluded plastic notes stay cleaner for longer, are more difficult to counterfeit and are at least twice as longer-lasting.

The Bank of England's Executive Director for Banking Services, Chris Salmon: said "The environmental impact of a polymer bank note is actually less than paper bank notes"

Plastic banknotes that can survive a spin in the washing machine are to be brought into circulation by the Bank of England in 2016.

The Bank argues that the polymer notes stay cleaner and are more secure than cotton paper notes, which have been used for more than 100 years.

The £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill will be the first plastic banknote.

More than 20 countries around the world have adopted polymer banknotes.

Public view

The Bank of England said in September that it was considering a switch from cotton paper to polymer notes.

It then visited various shopping centres around the UK to gauge public opinion about the proposed change.

Nearly 13,000 people gave feedback. The Bank said 87% of those who responded were in favour of polymer, only 6% were opposed and 7% were neutral. However, some suggested the notes were too slippery.

The £5 note to be the first

It has now confirmed their introduction into the currency, starting with the £5 note. The £10 note is to go plastic about a year later, carrying the image of Jane Austen.

The new banknotes will be made from a thin, transparent and flexible film made of polypropylene.

This is coated with an ink layer that enables it to carry the printed design features of a banknote. This allows the inclusion of windows or clear portions in the design, used to enhance protection against counterfeits.

The Bank has said that these notes last for 2.5 times longer than paper banknotes. They will survive a spin in the washing machine, but will still melt under extreme heat such as an iron.

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