Britain will start printing bank notes on plastic instead of cotton paper in 2016, given ‘‘overwhelmingly supportive’’ public backing for the switch, the Bank of England said Wednesday.
The change will start with the 5-pound note, worth about $8.20, featuring Winston Churchill, followed about a year later with a 10-pound note featuring Jane Austen. Nearly 13,000 individuals gave feedback during a consultation, with 87 percent in favor of the switch, 6 percent opposed, and 7 percent neutral.
About 20 countries already use polymer for their currency, and the BOE said the new notes are more secure, longer-lasting, and cheaper to produce.
It also announced new procedures for selecting historical characters to appear on currency after criticism that no woman would be on any UK notes. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.