(QHA) - Plastic banknotes that can survive a spin in the washing machine are to be brought into circulation by the Bank of England in 2016, according to BBC. The Bank argues that the polymer notes stay cleaner and are more secure than cotton paper notes, which have been used for more than 100 years. The £5 note featuring Winston Churchill will be the first plastic banknote. About 20 countries around the world have adopted polymer banknotes, starting with Australia in 1988. The Bank of England said it was considering a switch from cotton paper to polymer notes. "Polymer notes are the next step in the evolution of banknote design to meet that objective. The quality of polymer notes is higher, they are more secure from counterfeiting, and they can be produced at lower cost to the taxpayer and the environment" - Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, noted.