Plastic bank notes to start in 2016

This morning the Bank of England confirmed that the plastic bank notes are due to be issued in 2016. These new notes are said to be more durable and difficult to counterfeit.

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

It is reported that the £5 note, featuring Winston Churchill, will be the first plastic banknote. The £10 note is set to go plastic a year later, carrying the image of Jane Austen.

The new notes will be made from a thin, transparent and flexible film made of polypropylene which is to be coated with an ink layer enabling it to carry the printed design features. According to the Bank of England, the notes will last 2.5 times longer than paper banknotes, and will even survive a spin in the washing machine. However they will still melt under extreme heat.

The Governor of the Bank, Mark Carney said “ensuring trust and confidence in money is at the heart of what central banks do. Polymer notes are the next step in the evolution of banknote design to meet that objective. The quality of polymer notes is higher, they are more secure from counterfeiting, and they can be produced at lower cost to the taxpayer and the environment.”