£5 paper note will cease to be legal tender by May 2017.

  • Trade in your paper £5.
  • Polymer over paper is progress.

Last year, September 13th, the Bank of England issued the polymer £5 note, however they’ll cease acknowledging use of the paper £5 as legal tender by Friday, 5th May 2017.
Shortly after they refuse allowing the paper £5 note to be legal tender, they will begin to issue the polymer £10 note in the summer of 2017 then the £20 note sometime in 2020.

It would be in the best interest of those holding any paper notes to trade them in at your nearest bank. Whenever you’re given a paper note, a quick exchange at the bank before the cut off date will keep your funds fresh, plus you could get a crisp low serial note in return.


The change from paper to polymer was the due to a multitude of reasons from environmental factors, to security and cost of maintenance.

These new notes are very durable, they don’t discolour and fade once washed, they don’t absorb liquids, so they won’t be stained by acidic, tannin or sugar based products.They are however less heat resistant, more likely to shrink and melt compared to cotton based paper tender.
Polymer notes also survive circulation much longer than their paper counterparts, at least 2.5 times longer, due to environmental and material reasons (much, much more durable) according to research conducted by the Bank of England.

They claim that the environmental impacts are much larger for paper notes due to the harvesting, processing, manufacturing and transportation of the raw materials in order to produce them. The environmental damage caused by producing, maintaining and circulating paper notes, as evident in the Life Cycle Analysis of Paper and Polymer Bank Notes is astounding. The prime culprit being water usage with an astounding 1922 liters during a 2 year lifetime compared to 103 liters for the same period for the polymer counterpart (p101).

They showed data for the impact on Global Warming, Acidification, Eutrophication, Photochemical Ozone Creation, Abiotic Depletion, Human Toxicity and Ecotoxicity. In essence, their research is thorough and encompassing. Every avenue of environmental impact has been accounted for, analysed and calculated to determine the level of damage reduction to humans and the ecosystem.

Any improvement into the efficiency and efficacy of our actions should be reflective, no matter how minor the impact it may seem.

All source links open in a new window.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s