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UK to get plastic banknotes in 2016

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18/12/2013
Plastic banknotes will enter circulation in 2016, the Bank of England has confirmed.

The next £5 and £10 banknotes will be printed on polymer, a thin flexible plastic film, rather than on the cotton paper used for notes currently in issue.

The Bank argued that polymer banknotes stay cleaner for longer and are more durable than paper banknotes.

They also incorporate “advanced security features” making them difficult to counterfeit and are more environmentally friendly and cheaper than paper banknotes.

The £5 note will feature Sir Winston Churchill, while Jane Austen will appear on the polymer £10 note.

The Bank announced in September it was considering a move to polymer and launched a consultation to gauge public opinion.

Nearly 13,000 individuals gave feedback; 87% of those who responded were in favour of polymer, only 6% were opposed and 7% were neutral.

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, 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.”

The issue of the new notes will be supported by a comprehensive education programme which will include information about the new security features for authentication of the banknote as well as details of how the current paper £5 and £10 banknotes will be withdrawn from circulation.

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