Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

Everything You Need To Know About The New Plastic £5 Note

Photo: Joe Giddens/WPA Pool/Getty Images.
Good news for anyone whose washing machine has eaten more of their paper money than they would care to admit. A new plastic £5 note is launching in England and Wales today.

The note, made from polymer, is far less prone to breaking up than the old fiver, the BBC reported.

It will only be available from ATMs in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Hull and Cardiff at first, but will be more widely available within a week, when more bank branches around the country will have them. 440 million have been printed in total.

The new note is stronger than the current note, said Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England.

"The use of polymer means it can better withstand being repeatedly folded into wallets or scrunched up inside pockets, and can also survive a spin in the washing machine," reported the BBC.

It is also better for the environment than the current note because it lasts longer – up to five years – and can eventually be recycled, according to the Bank of England.

The new note (which even has its own snazzy website) features Winston Churchill on the back and is slightly smaller than the current £5 note.

It is also more difficult to counterfeit, the Bank of England said. It has a see-through window that changes from blue to green when the note is tilted. This, along with other intricate details, such as the Blenheim Palace maze (Churchill's birthplace) printed in green foil, were intended to make it difficult to forge.

Don't panic if you've still got some cash to hand. The old fiver will still be valid until the 5th of May 2017, but the Bank of England is moving towards introducing more plastic notes.

A £10 note featuring Jane Austen will enter circulation in the summer of 2017 and a £20 note depicting the artist Turner will be in circulation by 2020.

England and Wales are somewhat behind the curve when it comes to plastic money. Scotland first issues some plastic notes in March 2015, while Northern Ireland introduced them in October 1999, reported the BBC.