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New £5 bank notes to be made from plastic

Plastic bank notes are to be issued by the Bank of England for the first time when the new £5 featuring Sir Winston Churchill appears in 2016.

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Polymer banknotes 'more environmentally friendly'

The Bank of England has said it had spent three yeas researching materials on which banknotes are printed, concluding that there were "compelling reasons" to move to printing banknotes on polymer, a thin flexible plastic film. According to their research:

  • Polymer banknotes are resistant to dirt and moisture so stay cleaner for longer than paper banknotes.
  • Polymer banknotes are secure. They incorporate advanced security features making them difficult to counterfeit.
  • Polymer banknotes are more durable. They last at least 2.5 times longer than paper banknotes so will take much longer to become “tatty”.
  • Polymer banknotes are more environmentally friendly .

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