Why are we using polymer for banknotes?
Polymer banknotes are:
- Cleaner: polymer banknotes are more resistant to dirt and moisture, so they stay cleaner for longer than paper banknotes.
- Safer: the polymer material allows us to include enhanced security features, which make polymer banknotes harder to counterfeit.
- Stronger: improving the quality of banknotes in circulation.
Polymer banknotes last longer, so they are more environmentally friendly than paper banknotes. The waste from old polymer banknotes is turned into pellets before being transformed into new plastic items, such as plant pots.
We plan to issue a £50 polymer note after the new £20 note. This will feature someone who has contributed to science. We’ll announce the chosen character in summer 2019.
Following discussion with suppliers, we have not identified any changes to the availability or cost of alternative polymer substrates which would alter the conclusion reached in August 2017 on the future composition of polymer banknotes. The Bank therefore currently anticipates that the composition of the polymer substrate for £50 will be the same as for the £20. Consistent with the Bank’s obligations under the Equality Act 2010, particularly the Public Sector Equality Duty, the Bank will however engage with those organisations which were involved in its outreach programme in 2017 before it makes a final decision. Members of the public may also express any views by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.