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Why Polymer?

Polymer BanknotesPolymer banknotes are manufactured from a transparent plastic film, specially coated with an ink layer that enables it to carry the printed design features of banknotes. The material allows the inclusion of ‘windows’ or clear portions in the design which enhance protection against counterfeits.

Polymer banknotes are:

  • Resistant to dirt and moisture so stay cleaner for longer than paper banknotes
  • More secure so will provide enhanced counterfeit resilience
  • More durable so will increase the quality of banknotes in circulation
Polymer banknotes are also more environmentally friendly than paper due to their durability.
Life Cycle Assessment of paper and polymer notes report

The waste from old polymer notes will be fully recycled, which is the option with the lowest environmental impact.
Life Cycle Assessment report on waste management options
If you would like more information on polymer banknotes, please see our fact sheets, download the polymer banknotes Q&A Library (see link below) or watch the two short videos below.
 FAQs about polymer banknotes
A short video with Victoria Cleland, then Head of Notes Division, 10 September 2013
 What are polymer banknotes?
Victoria Cleland provides details about polymer banknotes, 10 September 2013

Key Resources


Polymer Banknotes Q&A Library