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Saturday, 01 August 2015

Can Cumbria firm cash in on plastic bank notes?

Industry pundits are already touting Wigton-based Innovia as frontrunners to produce plastic banknotes for the Bank of England.

The Wigton-based firm owns the technology that produced the world’s first plastic banknotes, introduced in Australia in 1988.

The Bank of England accounced that polymer coated banknotes could be in circulation in 2016 in the UK, which could potentially mean big business for Innovia.

Polymer banknotes are made from transparent sheets of a plastic called biaxially oriented polypropylene or Bopp, and Innovia recently announced plans to expand its Bopp output.

The firm also took full control of Securency International earlier this year, now known as Innovia Security. This is the division of the company that makes the plastic base material for bank notes.

Innovia welcomed the Bank of England's move towards plastic banknotes, but declined to comment at this stage on what it would mean for them.

The Bank of England has spent three years studying the impacts of a change from cotton paper.

It has organised a roadshow to gauge public opinion across the UK over the next two months, and will come to a final decision in December.

The current Bank of England banknotes are made from linen rag and cotton fibre and last around a year.

The proposed new polymer banknotes would be made from a thin, transparent and flexible film made of polypropylene.

This is coated with an ink layer that allows it to carry the printed design features of a banknote.

This allows the inclusion of windows in the design, which can be used to enhance protection against counterfeits.


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