Innovia, the United Kingdom-based producer of high-performance film, is about to open a new plant to make the polymer substrate for a five-pound bank note.
Innovia Security, a division of the group, will produce the substrate at the facility in Wigton, England, starting Sept. 7.
The plant is reported to have been the subject of investment of around 40 million pounds ($52.5 million).
Rory Stewart, the local member of parliament and minister of state at the Department for International Development, will be at the opening, as will Innovia CEO Mark Robertshaw and Bernhard Imbach, managing director of Innovia Security.
The new plastic note, which bears an image of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, goes into circulation 13 September 2016.
Innovia will also produce the polymer substrate for the new plastic 10-pound note, which will be available to the public in the autumn of next year.
The group said it has made nearly all of the polymer banknotes in the world since Australia launched the first plastic note back in 1988.
Polymer banknotes 101
Modern polymer banknotes were first developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and The University of Melbourne.
In 1996 Australia switched completely to polymer banknotes. Other countries that have switched completely to polymer banknotes include; Brunei, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Romania, and Vietnam.
Polymer notes have grown in popularity because they incorporate many security features not available to paper banknotes, including the use of metameric inks. They also last significantly longer than paper notes, causing a decrease in environmental impact and a reduced cost of production and replacement.
Polymer bank notes are made from a polymer such as such as biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP). BOPP is a non-fibrous and non-porous polymer.
Compared to paper banknotes, banknotes made using BOPP are harder to tear, more resistant to folding, more resistant to soil, waterproof (and washing machine proof), harder to burn, easier to machine process, and are shreddable and recyclable at the end of their lives