At the end of 2021 the Bank of England announced that the paper UK 20 and 50 Pound banknotes are going to be demonetized and now only the polymer family will be legal tender. After this move the current UK 5, 10, 20 , 50 Pound banknotes will all be polymer. The Bank of England also has a press campaign telling people to exchange the paper bills for polymer ones before September 30, 2022. The 20 & 50 Pounds follows the same design as other banknotes. They feature Queen Elizabeth II with a historical building in the background. Reverse images feature notable figures like Winston Churchill, Jane Austen, JMW Turner, and Alan Turing. As time goes by the saying “out with the old and in with the new” remains valid.

UK 5, 10, 20, 50 Pound Polymer Banknote Family | Source: Bank of England / Flickr

In 1988 Australia pioneered the first polymer banknote with their $10 Dollars banknote. Over the last couple of years, more and more countries and their respective central banks are starting to switch over from paper to polymer. Jamaica is also releasing a brand new polymer series. Last year and this year UAE announced new 5, 10, 50 Dirham Polymer banknotes too. In December Barbados is also set to release a new family of polymer banknotes as well. The rest of the world has definitely taken a liking to polymer banknotes.

UK England 50 Pounds | 2020 | P-397 | Polymer | Alan Turing | Source: Banknote World Educational

UK Understands Benefits of Polymer

You may be asking yourself why are more people switching over to polymer? Well, some of the benefits of polymer are that they are harder for criminal organizations to counterfeit. The chemical composition, new evolving security features and overall look and feel makes it harder for criminals to counterfeit. In addition polymer banknotes are approximately 2.5 times more durable than regular paper banknotes. At their core, polymer banknotes are basically a thin piece of plastic. They are waterproof so that means if you forget them inside of your favorite pair of blue jeans you just put in the washer, when you take them out they will still be in tact. As the technology advances and becomes more widely available the cost would also become more accessible for for central banks as well.

UK / England 5 Pounds Polymer | 2015 | P-394 | Source: Banknote World


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