The polymer pound: UK could get plastic banknotes, claims incoming Governor of the Bank of England

UK could introduce new banknotes made of plastic says incoming Bank of England governorMark Carney said bank is 'exploring a variety of options' when asked about introducing plastic notesHe said they are 'cleaner and greener' and 'good value'Also described the notes as 'better for the environment'

By
Louise Eccles

PUBLISHED:

05:38 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

10:44 GMT, 18 February 2013


Possibility: Mark Carney, the incoming governor of the Bank of England, said the Bank is 'exploring a variety of options' when asked about introducing plastic notes

Possibility: Mark Carney, the incoming governor of the Bank of England, said the bank was 'exploring a variety of options' when asked about introducing plastic notes

The incoming Bank of England governor has said he is ‘exploring’ the introduction of plastic banknotes in Britain.

Mark Carney, who introduced polymer notes to Canada as the Bank of Canada Governor, said Britain could now follow suit.

Plastic notes are designed to be more durable, waterproof and harder to forge than paper money, which has been in use for 300 years.

Other countries using polymer notes include New Zealand, Romania, Papua New Guinea, Mexico and Vietnam.

In Northern Ireland, a plastic five pound note was introduced in 1999 to mark the Millennium.

When asked by a Canadian television station if Britain could look forward to ‘a polymer pound’, Mr Carney said: ‘The Bank of England is exploring a variety of options for their next currency, yes.’

Mr Carney will succeed Sir Mervyn King as head of the bank in July.

He also responded to complaints that plastic banknotes are inconvenient because they tend to ‘stick together’ when new.

Durable: Plastic notes, such as the Canadian note, are designed to be more durable, waterproof and harder to forge than paper money

Durable: Plastic notes, such as the Canadian note, are designed to be more durable, waterproof and harder to forge than paper money

Gesturing, he said: ‘If you go like this with them, they, yeah they come apart.

‘The whole point of them is they come apart, they last longer, they’re cleaner and greener, good value for taxpayers and better for the environment.’

The Bank of England has put out a 1billion tender from 2015 for the printing of notes at its press in Debden, Essex.

Value: Mr carney said that plastic notes are 'cleaner and greener' and 'good value for taxpayers'

Value: Mr Carney said that plastic notes are 'cleaner and greener' and 'good value for taxpayers'