When most people think of “plastic currency”, a credit card comes to mind. However, the Bank of England has a very different idea in mind for 2016, when they will unveil plastic money.
The polymer banknotes are intended to save money in the long run, as it will keep the printing costs down for bills that have too much wear.
“Ensuring trust and confidence in money is at the heart of what central banks do,” Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, said in a statement. “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.”
Five-pound notes will be issued in 2016, followed by ten-pound notes in 2017. Of course, the move to plastic has more benefits than a lack of wear and tear; polymer money also has added security features and is much harder to counterfeit. Britain will now join Australia and Canada–as well as dozens of other countries–in the change from paper, and it’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
“Pending some kind of catastrophe, it’s going to be more of a continued trend toward using polymer,” Christopher Jeffery, editor of Central Banking Publications, said.
The U.S. is not currently in talks to make the switch, which could be because polymer money costs about twice as much to make as paper. It lasts 3-5 times longer, however.
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