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£20 notes to become plastic


Paper banknotes are set to become a thing of the past, as the Bank of England (BoE) announces that the new £20 note will be made of plastic.

The plastic £20 note will follow in the footsteps of the polymer £5 and £10 notes, which are set to be first circulated in 2016.

The BoE decided to change the materials made in the £20 note as the polymer will stay cleaner than cotton paper notes, which have been used for the past 100 years in the UK. Extensive research into the developments of security features showed that the £20 would also be more secure when made from the new materials, and the notes will be able to survive a spin in the washing machine.

As for the design, it is still undecided who will replace economist Adam Smith on the current £20 note. The Bank has confirmed that it would like to honour an artist on the new note, and has received 29,701 nominations from the public. Favourites include the sculptor and artist Barbara Hepworth, the author Beatrix Potter and fashion designer Alexander McQueen. The final decision will be made by the Bank’s governor, Mark Carney.

The £50 note is the only banknote to remain paper for the time being, as the latest version of the note only came into circulation in 2011.

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