SOURCE: The Guardian

DATE: February 20, 2020

SNIP: The new polymer £20 note featuring the artist JMW Turner is to go into circulation, as the Bank of England begins a mammoth operation to replace the most popular banknote in the country.

At least 2bn have been printed, and the Bank expects half of the country’s cash machines to have switched over within the next fortnight.

In Scotland, Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale will launch their polymer £20 notes on 27 February, with Royal Bank of Scotland following on 5 March. Banks in Northern Ireland will also change over in 2020, but there is no specific date.

The Bank said the banknote will be the single biggest switchover to polymer attempted anywhere in the world. While first adopted by Australia in 1988, US dollars and euros have so far resisted the switch to plastic.

According to the Bank of England, if the new £20 notes were laid end to end, they would stretch around the world almost seven times and weigh a total of 1,780 tonnes. The notes are manufactured in England by De La Rue.

Old notes removed from circulation are either turned into compost, or burned to generate electricity.