Paper money has successfully replaced metal coins for more than 300 years but Britain could be leading the way for another revolution in commerce by introducing plastic banknotes which will be replacing paper money over the next few years.
The radical overhaul could see the more durable, waterproof and harder-to-counterfeit polymer sterling notes come into circulation within 3 years, the Daily Mail reported.
AdvertisementThe Bank of England has put out a one billion pound-tender from 2015 for the printing of notes at its press in Debden, Essex.
Since 2003, the contract has been held by De La Rue - one of only two polymer notes maker.
The company, which prints more than 150 currencies, just brought out new plastic banknotes for the Pacific island of Fiji.
Plastic notes were first introduced in Australia in 1988 as a measure against counterfeiting, which proved a success.
Chris Salmon, bank's chief cashier, had already revealed that it was investigating the possibility of polymer or plastic-coated banknotes.
It is understood that the Bank will initially introduce lower denominations, like fiver.