England might soon join Vietnam, Romania and Canada with its plan to introduce plastic banknotes. The Bank of England is considering replacing paper money with polymer banknotes which are billed as cleaner, stronger and more secure.
The new plastic cash will be smaller than the current £5 and £10 notes and will be the biggest change to Britain’s currency for 300 years.
The banknotes are waterproof, more hygienic as they absorb fewer bacteria, harder to tear or crease, making them easier for vending machines. They could last up to ten years compared to the current two year shelf-life of paper cash.
The final decision will be announced in December, if the plan is approved, plastic 5-pound notes could be in circulation by 2016.