Paper banknotes 'could become obsolete'
Business news 11 Sep 2013
The Bank of England is considering the introduction of plastic banknotes, to replace the UK's existing cotton fibre paper notes.
Our current £5 note lasts on average just one year. Once they are judged to be unfit for circulation, the notes often end up in industrial compost. However, the proposed polymer notes, which are already used in a number of countries around the world, are more durable and should even survive being put through the washing machine.
As well as reducing the impact on the environment, the Bank also believes that the notes would be more difficult to replicate, reducing the number of counterfeits in circulation, as well as being cleaner as the polymer resists dirt and moisture. The proposed notes would consist of a transparent and flexible film made from polypropylene, coated in an ink layer which would carry the notes' design. The inclusion of windows or clear portions could be added, which would further enhance their protection against fraud.
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